Not Just One of the Girls

Sylvia Flowers

Head ranger Sylvia Flowers isn’t just one of the girls, she’s the only one. Flowers retired from Ocmulgee Mounds in 2003 after serving as the parks first, and only female Master Ranger.

“Getting the law enforcement commission for a woman back in the 1980s wasn’t quite as easy as I think is today. And I did that. I’m still proud of myself that I made it through 12 and a half  weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center,” Flowers said.

Flowers was in the minority of women to complete strenuous law enforcement training, and the only person to be trained in pepper spray during her time.

“It was offered as an alternative to deadly force and we had to undergo being sprayed with it ourselves before we could use it on somebody else. It was painful, it was very painful, and I guess it’s better than some things that can happen to you but it hurt,” Flowers said.

Emma Quintal
Sylvia Flowers stands proudly at the Ocmulgee National Park.

Flowers has a deep connection to the park because she’s,“walked every inch of it for so many years.” She believes that the most important thing for the park is preservation, and a way to accomplish preservation is through education.

As the old saying goes, from education comes knowledge, and from knowledge comes appreciation, and from appreciation preservation. And just tell those kids out there they need to think about the past because if they don’t, they won’t know what direction to take in the future.”

Throughout her career, Flowers made many contributions to the park, including starting the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, developing Ocmulgee’s first Lantern Light Tours, and being a part of the successful effort to preserve Ocmulgee.

Flowers was a recipient of the Ocmulgee/Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Take Pride in America Award and earned the Georgia Woman of Distinction in Historic Preservation.