Georgia on track for first National Historical Park

Georgia recently took a significant step closer to garnering its first National Historical Park.

A U.S House committee unanimously approved earlier this month designating the Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon, as the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

“Passage of our bill in the House Natural Resources Committee is an important step, bringing us closer to strengthening the current Ocmulgee National Monument; bolstering the economy and cultural life of Georgia; and realizing a lasting memorial, enduring for generations,” U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, said in a statement.

Georgia is already home to National Historic Sites (like Andersonville), National Heritage Areas (Arabia Mountain), National Recreation Areas (the Chattahoochee River) and a National Seashore (Cumberland Island). Ocmulgee, if approved by Congress and the president, would join Appomattox Court House, Harpers Ferry and other historic sites.

Native Americans first settled in Middle Georgia roughly 17,000 years ago. Burial mounds and earthen lodges built by the Mississippians around 900 A.D. remain intact.

The legislation seeks to expand the 702-acre National Monument into a 2,800-acre park and, eventually, create a greenway-water corridor with the Bond Swamp Wildlife Refuge and Ocmulgee River.

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