One Georgia county is donating hundreds of acres to the National Park Service. This donation is a step forward in expanding one popular outdoor spot within the region. Getting the area one step closer to a National Park, officials say.
One Georgie County Donates Hundreds Of Acres, Inching Close To National Park Status
One popular historical park is getting a little bigger this week…and it moves closer to becoming a National Park. This comes as Georgia officials donate 250 acres of Macon-Bibb county towards the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.
The donated land sits just south of the park’s previous border. According to officials, the goal is to achieve National Park status. In order to get to this level, the historical park area needed to be bigger. The donation features nearly half a square mile of land. All of which sit along Georgia’s Ocmulgee River.
The Macon-Bibb Georgia Donation Is An Important Piece In Expanding The Park’s Culture
According to Macon-Bibb, Georgia’s mayor Seth Clark, this move is part of an effort to preserve “sacred land” within the area. Giving it protection through National Park Service guidelines.
“In 2019, Congress charged this community and conservationists and the Muscogee Creek Nation, all the partners that are working to preserve this sacred land, with expanding the land,” the mayor explains.
“With this donation, it’s one step closer to us being able to keep that end of the bargain,” Clark continues. In addition to serving as the Macon-Bibb mayor, Clark also serves as the national park initiative director.
“To understand the process of learning what was there,” Clark relates. “It’s an incredibly important piece not just ecologically, but culturally.”
Clark adds that the area sits on land that once was part of a growing capital of the Muscogee Creek Nation. An area in which the indigenous people lived and worked for tens of thousands of years, prior to being sent to Oklahoma in the 1800s. The project, he says, is working as a sort of recovery effort.
“What this project is doing is piecing together those tracts,” Clark explains. “That were split up after removal to preserve this cultural, this tribally significant land.”
Park Officials Hope To Grow The Ocmulgee Historic Park’s Borders Even Further
Clark says that the Ocmulgee National Park is around 700 acres now. However further expansion is expected, should congress agree to designate the area an official National Park. If this happens, officials see the historical area expanding even further into other Georgia counties.