A 50-mile stretch of Georgia’s meandering Ocmulgee River is on track to becoming the nation’s newest National Park and Preserve, thanks to OSI's critical partnership.
MACON, Ga. (Feb. 18, 2021) — In 2019, Congress passed the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation Act which included bipartisan legislation to expand the boundary of Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park (OMNHP) and to authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to study large landscape conservation opportunities on the Ocmulgee River, stretching from Macon to Hawkinsville, Georgia.
The Ocmulgee River, once settled by the ancient Mississippian civilization and their descendants, the native Creek people, is internationally lauded as one of America’s most important archaeological landscapes. The 702-acre Ocmulgee Mounds National Monument, founded in 1936 and operated by the National Park Service, preserves the elaborate ceremonial mounds of these early inhabitants. Local conservationists worked tirelessly to expand the National Monument for eight decades. The 2019 expansion and new designation as the Ocmulgee National Historic Park increases the area of critical habitat and potentially sensitive cultural resources that can be added to the Park by 2,460 acres.
Amplifying the river’s extraordinary cultural significance are the uniquely intact forested uplands that support rich and diverse ecological habitat including one of Georgia’s three populations of black bears, a critical migratory flyway, and the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge area.