Ocmulgee River Corridor needs recommendations to become National Park

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Congress asked for a study of the Ocmulgee River in 2019, to evaluate whether or not the river can be apart of the national park system. Ben West, Chief of Planning for the study, says the river has to meet certain criteria.

“Significance is the first requirement,” West explained. “We’re looking to see if an area has nationally significant resources. The other criteria will look at its suitability. Suitability criteria will find if the area adds to or expands the existing national park system. The third criteria is something called feasibility, and then we’re also going to look at the need for park management.”

If the river gets recommended for national park status, researchers will present the study to Congress. West says officials can recommend the river to be deemed as a different type of land if it does not meet the study criteria.

“National heritage areas are another example of designation that might be appropriate,” West said.

Planners for the study say they need community input. Chuck Lawson, Manager of the project, says they want your help.

“We welcome any information at all that the public wants to share with us,” Lawson said. “We’re also asking questions about what sites, resources, values, and stories the river corridor embodies to them.”

To leave a comment on the study, visit parkplanning.nps.gov.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.