Tulsans Hope To Make Crow Creek Next Family Attraction

Thursday, March 19th 2015, 6:21 pm
By: News On 6

A creek that runs through the middle of Tulsa could become a much nicer attraction.

Crow Creek crisscrosses all through the midtown area, including through some neighborhoods, but there are some public parts where the water flows that could, one day, be places for families to fish or swim.

Many drive over parts of the creek every day and never slow down to see the beautiful water below. It goes underneath Utica Square and Cascia Hall and even makes up the backdrop of the Philbrook Museum.

Graham Brannin volunteers for the state and keeps an eye on the stream.

"It's hard to believe that we are in the middle of Tulsa, in midtown," he said.

From the calm sound of the water to birds chirping in the back ground, the stretch of Crow Creek near Zink Park is one of Brannin's favorite places to get away.

"I come out here monthly to monitor the creek," he said. "The first thing I usually do, is stop here and look around and see what's going on around the creek. Do I see any fish? Any trash?"

Lately, he's only seen a few fish - most have died off, and the fish that have survived have become tolerant to pollutants.

Jean Lemmon with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission said oxygen levels aren't ideal for any habitat to thrive, but they could be.

"It actually has a problem with bacteria, so it's not really what we call swimmable,” Lemmon said. “You want to wash your hands after you play in the water."

The creek runs from near Lewis and 26th Street to the Arkansas River at 33rd Street.

A fairly large area on either side of the creek feeds into it and makes up the Crow Creek Watershed. Anyone who lives or works in the area plays a part in the creek's health.

“If you put pesticides in your lawn and it rains, then it drains into the creek and kills the bugs so there is nothing for the fish to eat," said Lemmon. "Some of the things we need to do is remove barriers to fish migration up from the river and that will be pretty simple work."

Future swimming and fishing spots open to the public could be in places like Zink Park or in the Gathering Place.

Anyone interested in preserving the creek is encouraged to come to a community meeting at Cascia Hall Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.