Who We Are
What is the National Heritage Areas (NHA) program?
NHAs are places where historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to form cohesive, nationally important landscapes. Unlike national parks, NHAs are large, lived-in landscapes. NHAs collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs. Federal designation recognizes the national importance of a region’s sites and history.
NHAs further the mission of the National Park Service (NPS) by fostering community stewardship of our nation’s heritage. There are 55 designated NHAs in the US.
Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area
The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area (MHNHA) was designated by Congress in 2009. Bounded by I-55 to the west and Highway 14 to the south, MHNHA covers 19 full counties and portions of 11 others in the northeastern part of the Magnolia state.
MHNHA represents a distinctive cultural landscape shaped largely by the dynamic intersection of Appalachian and Delta cultures, an intersection which produced a powerful concentration of nationally-significant cultural icons.
Lasting contributions to our country’s musical and literary legacies were forged by Hills natives including Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Howlin’ Wolf and Tammy Wynette.
MHNHA seeks to interpret and share the stories of these individuals, as well as the legacies of Civil Rights pioneers Ida B. Wells-Barnett and James Meredith. MHNHA also focuses on events of significance to our nation’s history that took place within our borders, as well as lesser-known figures of historical and cultural interest.
MHNHA is filled with vibrant communities that share a common geography and history, and we invite you to learn about our people, places, and defining moments. Discover the historic, cultural, natural, scenic and recreational treasures of the Mississippi Hills.
MHNHA’s Primary Interpretive Themes
- Music & Literature
- African-American Heritage
- Native-American History
- Civil War