By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced a $49,995 grant to promote tourism in six Alabama counties. The funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will allow the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development to develop a program to promote the natural, cultural and historical assets of Hale, Pickens, Fayette, Lamar, Bibb and Tuscaloosa counties.
Gov. Bentley said, “With so much to see and so many stories to learn, travelers must experience west Alabama to get a full picture of Alabama’s history and people. This grant is the latest example of how we’re working to support and increase tourism throughout our state. Tourism helps support jobs and local economies while also sharing the natural and cultural assets of Alabama with more people.”
The attractions that will be promoted include: the Alabama Birding Trail; the Cahaba River and the Cahaba Lily Festival; the Moundville Archaeological Park; an Aliceville site used as a prisoner of war camp for Germans during World War II; the Paul W. Bryant Museum; the Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art; as well as numerous parks and trails.
Gov Bentley notified the assistant vice president for research at UA, Cynthia Hope that the grant had been approved.
The ARC Program is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation facilities, energy conservation and water resource management. The grant money comes from federal appropriations.
ARC was established by the U.S. Congress in 1965 as a supplemental grant program to raise the standard of living, improve the quality of life and promote economic development in portions of 13 including thirty-seven Alabama counties.