Through the US EPA's Brownfields 128(a) Tribal Response
                Grant Program, the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council
                (ITEC) and Cherokee Nation completed environmental site
                assessments on the Markoma Bible Academy campus, a 19-
                acre property. After completing site assessment and remedia-
                tion of lead-based paint, asbestos and other contaminants un-
                der the ITEC Tribal Response Grant Program, ITEC and
Cherokee Nation redeveloped buildings on campus into offices for health administration, and a state-
of-the-art recreation center - so far with more to come.
   The Cherokee Nation established its Capitol in 1836 in Tahle-
quah, Oklahoma and in 1851 built the Cherokee National Male
Seminary educational institution on a hill in the southwestern part of
town.  Unfortunately the building burned down in 1910 and the prop-
erty was used as farmland until the Markoma Bible Academy turned
the site into a Christian high school campus in 1961.  The school
closed in 2005 and the Cherokee Nation once again acquired the 19-
acre site and an additional purchase of nearly 100-acres around the
area. Through community discussions that followed, Cherokee Na-
tion selected Tribal medical, health, elder care and fitness needs as
                                       the best use for the
                                       facilities. The dor-
                                       mitories are being
                                       converted into of-
                                       fices and the gymna-
                                       sium building has been made into a 25,000 square-
                                       foot state-of-the-art recreation center with a basket-
                                       ball court, weight and fitness exercise spaces and a
                                       jogging track. There is also a children's room with
                                       activities for little ones while the adults workout.
                                       Health information and physical activity classes are
                                       offered on a regular basis as well as sports leagues for
                                       adults and youth.  Membership is free for Tribal mem-
                                       bers and available to others for a nominal fee. Re-
sponse to the facility has been much greater than anticipated with almost six-thousand members par-
  On another part of the property the Nation has created a Cherokee Elder Care PACE (Program of
All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) center. It houses facili-
ties for medical and ancillary services and accommodations
for elder day care.  Transportation is also provided. The
Cherokee Elder  Care is the first PACE program in Okla-
homa and one of the first rural PACE sites in the Nation.
  This project is an excellent example of the EPA's State
and Tribal Response Program being used to provide money
and technical assistance to address the cleanup and reuse of
contaminated property in Indian country.
  For more information about ITEC's 128(a) Tribal Re-
sponse Program, contact Bob  Short at bob- or EPA Region 6's Brownfields Team
at 214-665-2241.