Become a NHA

National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress after a process that involves a significant commitment of the local community and support from the National Park Service.

Each National Heritage Area is governed by separate authorizing legislation and operates under provisions unique to its resources and desired goals. For an area to be considered for designation, certain key elements must be present. First and foremost, the landscape must have nationally distinctive natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources that, when linked together, tell a unique story about our country. It is strongly recommended that a feasibility study be conducted prior to a designation attempt.

National Heritage Area designation follows a two-step process — completion of a feasibility study and introduction of authorizing legislation. Prior to undertaking a feasibility study and developing legislation, please review the Feasibility Study Frequently Asked Questions and contact a National Heritage Area Program Coordinator in your region for a consultation.

To stay current on issues relevant to National Heritage Areas, designation and program legislation, become a member of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas.