Macon was designed in 1823 by James Webb to be “a city in a park.” The natural beauty of the Ocmulgee River, the presence of the Mounds overlooking the city, and the wonderfully unique habitats for rare plants and animals surrounding the city, Webb knew, were a large part of the strong attraction of this developing cultural hub.
With 17,000 years of human history behind it, including histories in which many Native Americans nations and tribes were born and early settlers came to flourish, Mr. Webb also knew that there was something special about this place, and he wanted his design to reflect this. In many ways, Macon still remains Webb’s “city in a park,” but the park in which it sits is now very under-appreciated.
In 2011, a small group of Mercer University Law School students began an in-depth study to support an on-going National Parks and Conservation Association effort to expand the Ocmulgee National Monument into a National Park and Preserve and to return Macon to being “a city in a park.” Now, the work to elevate the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and the Ocmulgee River corridor south to Hawkinsville, has been embraced by citizens and officials across the state.
ONPPI’s Mission Statement reflects the multifaceted work we are leading in Middle Georgia:
“To advocate for the expansion of the Ocmulgee National Monument and its eventual integration into the larger network of public lands in the Ocmulgee River corridor south of Macon to form a new Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve. We seek to preserve historical, cultural, and environmental values, while simultaneously providing the economic and other benefits of a National Park to Middle Georgia and beyond.”
We are a diverse group with interests across the varied landscape and history of the area we want to protect and preserve as a new National Park and Preserve. Contact Us to find out how you can get involved, or Support ONPPI with a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.