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MSNHA accepts proposals for $60K in federal grant funds

The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area has $60,000 in federal money available as grant awards for planning historic preservation and recreational projects in its six counties – Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan.

Public and private non-profit agencies within the MSNHA, or representing projects located within the MSNHA, are eligible to apply. Proposals and a non-refundable $250 application fee are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 6.

“We are very excited to have $60,000 in federal grant funds available for preservation and recreational planning grants, with a maximum award of $20,000 per project,” said MSNHA director Carrie Barske Crawford. “While there is a quick turnaround for project completion with this grant round, we know these funds can be put to good use in our six counties.

“Applicants may be cities, counties or non-profit entities,” Crawford added. “We can’t wait to see what projects you come up with.”

Project examples include developing city or county preservation plans, surveying for potential historic districts and updating the National Register of Historic Places historic districts, surveying historic cemeteries and submitting Alabama Historic Cemetery nomination forms to the Alabama Historical Commission, designing interpretive panels for parks, developing a master plan for community recreational opportunities or creating construction documents for a public recreational site, park or trail.

Funding requests cannot exceed $20,000 and must include a match of at least equal value from cash sources, according to the MSNHA.

Emily Rhodes, MSNHA grants coordinator, said contracts will be signed at the end of January, and projects must be completed and invoiced to MSNHA by Aug. 1. Awards will be made as reimbursable grants.

Proposals must include applicant name and contact information, description of the applicant organization, project description, project budget showing 1:1 match, commitment letter or resolution signed by mayor or executive officer and project timeline, as well as descriptions of site control and properties to be affected “in sufficient detail to determine ownership, property control and potential impact of scope of work,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said applicants can email a proposal as a single-attachment PDF or Word document to with “MSNHA Subaward” in the subject line and the applicant’s name in the attachment title.

Checks for application fees may be mailed to the MSNHA.

Projects will be evaluated on their connection to the MSNHA management plan, feasibility and community impact, Rhodes added. Applicants are encouraged to contact MSNHA prior to proposing activities with any potential environmental impacts.