HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Monday brought a Governor's proclamation and a day of events to celebrate Cummings Research Park in Huntsville to mark the park's 50th anniversary.
It was a picture-perfect day outside Adtran, located in the center of the park. Admiring its beauty from inside the Adtran building was a gathering of dignitaries meeting to celebrate how much the park has grown, bringing Huntsville along.
"For five decades, we have been in a public-private partnership with our community and that partnership has proved to be the economic development engine for this whole area," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
There are several events planned this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Cummings Research Park.
"In the realty world, it's location, location, location," said Madison Mayor Paul Finley, "And just past those trees right there is madison, but we wouldn't have grown that dramatically had it not been the vision and the foresight of 50 years ago."
Fifty years later, there are 300 businesses located in Cummings Research Park, employing more than 25,000 people and contributing $280-million in state and local taxes.
Those details were stated on the Governor Robert Bentley's proclamation, which specified October 15th as a day to celebrate the park.
And they are numbers that were extra special for one woman, in particular, in the audience: Nancy Cummings. She's the daughter of Milton Cummings, for whom the park is named.
"When he was into something, it was to affect a lot of people and wanted employment for a lot of people and this," she said. "When I'm hearing these numbers today, he would just be so happy that this was in Huntsville."
Cummings Research Park is the second largest research park in the nation.
Milton Cummings was Gadsden native and cotton broker and investor. He teamed up with Dr. Wernher Von Braun to push the space market in Huntsville.