Sacred Lands - The Ocmulgee Old Fields

Congregational Resolution
High Street Unitarian Universalist Church

Mr. Larry R. Dreihaup, P.E.
Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
1720 Peachtree Road, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30367

RE: Proposed Eisenhower Parkway Extension / Fall Line Freeway

Dear Mr. Dreihaup:

On March 26, the congregation of the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church adopted the enclosed resolution based on the attached findings of our Social Responsibility Committee regarding the proposed routing of the Eisenhower Parkway Extension / Fall Line Freeway in Bibb County, Georgia.

As you can see from our resolution, our Church places great value on the cultural and spiritual resource that is known as the Ocmulgee Old Fields and strongly advocates the rerouting of the proposed highway so as to completely avoid encroachment on these lands that we believe to be of local, national and international significance.

Please accept this letter and the resolution as an expression of support for the designation of the Old Fields by the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a traditional cultural property.

We request that the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church be hereafter regarded as an interested party for purposes of any further administrative action regarding the routing of the highway.

Very truly yours,

Richard W. Creswell
President

The Rev. Mary Katherine Morn
Minister

RESOLUTION OF THE CONGREGATION HIGH STREET UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH

adopted March 24, 1996

Whereas we, the members of the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church, covenant to affirm and promote: the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregation and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part;

Whereas our commitment to these principles moves us to: be concerned about the preservation of cultural, historic, and natural resources; be concerned about ensuring that public investment and transportation policy decisions are made in a deliberate fashion in full and fair consideration of the benefits and costs to society as a whole; and embrace all life-affirming sacred traditions as paths which have value in and of themselves and as resources for our own spiritual development; therefore

Be it resolved that the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church supports the preservation of the Ocmulgee Old Fields and their nationally and internationally significant cultural, historic, and natural resources in perpetuity.

Be it further resolved that the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church advocates the rerouting of the Fall Line Freeway Connector / Eisenhower Parkway Extension to points wholly outside the Ocmulgee Old Fields.

FINDINGS of THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE of the HIGH STREET UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH on THE OCMULGEE OLD FIELDS

I. The High Street Unitarian Universalist Church promotes the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregation and in society at large. In keeping with this principle:

We support the determination that the Ocmulgee Old Fields are eligible property under the National Register of Historic Places and therefore are entitled to the strictest protective scrutiny provided for by federal law.

We maintain that the Traditional Cultural Property Status and general historic significance of the Old Fields make them a meaningfully whole property not capable of division, encroachment, or "mitigated improvement" or modification without unconscionable harm.

II. The High Street Unitarian Universalist Church promotes the goal of community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. In keeping with this principle:

We support the tribal resolutions adopted by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation on September 26, 1992 and on December 16, 1995 in opposition to the routing of the Fall Line Freeway Connector / Eisenhower Parkway Extension through the Ocmulgee Old Fields.

The Ocmulgee Old Fields are a traditional Cultural Property of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. To paraphrase general criteria of the United States National Park Service, the Ocmulgee Old Fields are associated with the beliefs of a living community that (a) are rooted in that community's history, and (b) are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community.

The nature of the Ocmulgee Old Fields as a traditional cultural property makes their preservation of tremendous salience to the Muscogee Creeks. To us, justice demands that cultural preservation should take precedence over the stated and unstated justifications for the planned Fall Line Freeway route through the Ocmulgee Old Fields.

III. The High Street Unitarian Universalist Church promotes respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. In keeping with this principle:

We advocate a prudent and balanced consideration of the relationship between public investment, transportation policy and cultural, historic, and natural resource values. The Ocmulgee Old Fields are a vital historic resource for the people of Macon, Georgia, of the United States, and of all the world and should not be impaired by public works projects of more short term benefit, either real or imagined.

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