Northwest Alabama (2013)

The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area encompasses the northwest portion of Alabama, including the cities of Athens, Decatur, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. In accordance with the 2009 federal legislation creating the MSNHA, the three key themes for interpretation include the Tennessee River, Native American Heritage, and Music. The Walker Collaborative was hired by the University of North Alabama, the Heritage Area’s local coordinating entity in partnership with the National Park Service, to lead a team of four consulting firms in the creation of the federally-mandated Management Plan. The nearly three-year planning process project featured extensive public participation, the development of interpretive themes, an inventory of natural and cultural resources, and a market analysis to determine the depth and nature of demand for heritage tourism. Key plan components included an interpretive plan, a business plan, and an implementation plan.