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Eastern Oklahoma resort marries luxury travel with green living



"Responsible travel" bears in mind the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of travel, striving to minimize the footprint a traveler leaves. The Canebrake in eastern Oklahoma does responsible tourism right.

The Canebrake is the vision of the Brackens, an Oklahoman family who wanted to preserve its property in Wagoner. A resort of this caliber is a fairly new concept for this part of the world " and exactly why the Bracken family saw such an opportunity.

"There's a lack of places like this in our part of the country where adults can relax in an environment where you can do as little or as much as you'd like," said co-owner Sam Bracken.

When creating the vision for the resort, the family decided on a clear philosophy: to be good stewards of the environment.

"One of the wonderful things about Oklahoma is that Okies are a little behind the fray," Bracken said. "This isn't the East or West Coast, and we like it that way. However, we felt the timing was right to show this part of the country that you can run an ecologically friendly hospitality business."

The accommodations utilize sustainable and recyclable materials and organic paint. The hot water heaters are powered by solar panels. A yoga barn uses recycled denim for insulation, natural light from high windows and a cork floor warmed through radiant heat.

 "It's something that's come slowly to this part of the country, but we like to think of ourselves as trailblazers by incorporating the ideas of sustainability," he said. "Jenny Coon Peterson

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