Hopefully, all of you have heard by now that some of the staff from our office is working with a larger steering committee working to get 19 counties in Alabama known as the Black Belt region designated as a National Heritage Area. The steering committee of 60 members consists of local citizens and leaders representing all 19 counties and a partnership panel that includes representatives from historical, conservation, and economic development groups across the state and region.
A National Heritage Area is a place designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive and distinct area. National Heritage Areas tell important stories about our nation and represent key pieces of our history and identity. There are currently 37 National Heritage Areas in the United States and none designated so far in Alabama. We strongly believe that Alabama’s Black Belt contains historical, natural and cultural resources that are nationally distinct and worthy of this designation.
As part of this project, we are undergoing a planning process to develop an area brand in order to market the Black Belt’s unique blend of history, culture, and traditions to visitors inside and outside of Alabama. To help us in developing this brand, we would like know what others think about the Black Belt.
Please take a few (8-10) minutes to respond to a brief survey and give us your thoughts about the Black Belt region. I’ve provided the link below. Your responses are completely anonymous. This information is uploaded to a consultant who is working with us, but is not on the planning team or otherwise associated with the project. We also need our help in getting this out to all of your contacts. We also have a printed version of this survey that I can send to you if there are some folks you know whose input we should have but who don’t have internet access.
Thanks for your time and please distribute to all you know. If you have any questions about the Black Belt National Heritage Area project or would like more information, you can contact me or go to our website at http://www.alblackbeltheritage.org/.
Public Outreach Coordinator
Alabama Historical Commission