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Groups Clean Up Eagle Nesting Area Along Arkansas River

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Several different agencies and volunteers are making it their goal to clean up a protected eagle nesting area and offer help for some of Tulsa's homeless.

Living in a tent and heating up food by a fire is the reality for Tulsa's homeless near 91st and Riverside.

It's a reality that Tulsa police, the John 3:16 Mission and several other agencies are working to change. 

"We're trying to help them get into a better circumstance," said Rev. Steve Whitaker. 

Whitaker is with the John 3:16 Mission and is reaching out to the homeless at the site. 

"Offering a word of prayer if they want prayer, or just encouragement. Just getting to know people," Whitaker said. 

And because it is illegal to set up camp in a city park, crews are cleaning everything up and removing all the tents and trash laying around.

"We've got a lot of cleanup that needs to be done," said Phat Tire Store Manager Steve Palmer. 

Of the roughly 30 homeless people living here in the woods -- the John 3:16 Mission expects to be able to help about five of them. 

"Some people, sadly, seem to enjoy the lifestyle. So sometimes they have to be urged along," Whitaker said. 

The work being done isn't just for the people, but for the park. 

It's a protected eagle nesting area although, game wardens say, no eagles are nesting here now. 

And while much of what's found in the woods is being hauled away, all the bikes found in the woods could soon have a new purpose.

"We're gonna take those bicycles and see if we can try to get them back to working condition," Palmer said. 

And, they just might be seen back on these trails someday, thanks to the "earn a bike" program with Tulsa Hub. 

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