CLEVELAND, Tenn.-A replica of a Cherokee council house is planned for the nature trail area at Cleveland Middle School.
"It will look somewhat like what you might see at Red Clay [State Historic Park]," said Principal Jeff Elliott.
A replica farm and council house are part of the Red Clay park in the southwest corner of Bradley County on the Georgia state line. The 263-acre park was set aside more than 25 years ago to mark the last location of the Cherokee councils before the 1838 Trail of Tears, the forced march of the American Indians from the Southeast to Oklahoma.
About five years ago, Cleveland Middle and the Cleveland/Bradley Public Education Foundation created a nature trail as part of a wetlands project on the school's property. There is enough money from that project to build the council house, Elliott said.
"We love it when projects come along already funded," school board Chairman Peggy Pesterfield said.
The project was estimated by a local company to cost less than $15,000.
Elliott said the open-sided structure will serve as an outdoor classroom.
"Part of the dream ... was to build a council house to tie in some of the social studies and science with the nature trail," he said.