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Ocmulgee Mounds may become state's first national park
Legislation expected soon to establish protection as park
Ocmulgee Mounds
Ocmulgee Mounds was established as a national historical park during the 1930s to preserve an area occupied by various native cultures for thousands of years. The mounds were built during the Mississippi Period, which began around 900. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ATLANTA  — Legislation will be introduced soon in Congress to create Georgia’s first national park, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said last week after touring the Ocmulgee Mounds in Macon, a prehistoric Native American site.

Ocmulgee Mounds was established as a national historical park during the 1930s to preserve an area occupied by various native cultures for thousands of years. The mounds were built during the Mississippi Period, which began around 900.

“Ocmulgee is not just an expanse of land,” Warnock said. “It is a living testament to our intertwined histories, and a source of economic and cultural vitality.”

Warnock’s tour came shortly after the National Park Service sent a study to Congress concluding that the Muscogee Creek Nation’s historic homeland in Middle Georgia warrants protection. But the study also declared the area contemplated for a park, stretching for more than 50 miles, includes so much private property it wouldn’t be possible to acquire.

To get around that problem, the report recommended reducing the area to be preserved along the Ocmulgee River.

Warnock is working with Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and U.S. Reps. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, and Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, to craft legislation designating the Ocmulgee Mounds as a national park.

The tour of the site was led by Tracie Revis, a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation.


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