Oxley Nature Center Gets Help From Local Tulsa Church For Clean-Up

Tuesday, July 2nd 2019, 8:13 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa's Church on the Move plans clean Bird Creek on July 13, after flooding debris littered the area.

Flooding on Bird Creek washed tons of debris from an old landfill into Oxley Nature Center, but a Tulsa church plans to clean it up. 

Tulsa's Church on the Move plans a massive cleanup day with possibly 300 people involved.

The washout covered several acres with mostly plastic trash that is tangled in trees and brush. The flooding exposed one of three old landfills that were closed in the 1970's. 

"I've seen Bird Creek come up before and flood before, but this was huge. It hasn't flooded like this since the early 1900's, and the creek has widened its banks and it looks more like a river now than it does a creek anyway," Oxley Director Eddie Reece said.

The water was high and fast enough to move the bank so close to Mohawk Boulevard the city had to close part of it off.

Church on the Move plans to bring in volunteers, heavy equipment, and boats to clean up the woods and a small lake behind the center.

"Some of these things will take several years to get them fixed up to where we want them to be," said Anna America, the director of Tulsa Parks.

America says the city has hired consultants to come up with a plan to prevent Bird Creek from reaching into the landfill during the next heavy rain.

"Right now, every time it rains you wash more debris and landfill into the creek, so we want to stop that as quickly as possible" said America.

The city is hoping the creek doesn't rise before a contractor can clean out some of the landfill and cap off the rest.

Reece said it's going to be a difficult repair and hard to prevent it from happening elsewhere along the creek.

"This is an ongoing thing that's never going to stop and the creek moves, so when it does, things change, and mother nature has the last word, so we have to work with her."

The City hopes to get the plan next week for capping the landfill.

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