The Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Department under the guidance of the Public Art and Design Committee issued a Call-to-Artists for Florida artists. Artists were invited to submit qualifications to compete for a community-based public art project that pertains to environmental sustainability. The project is in cooperation withThe Florida Botanical Gardens, located at 12175 125th Street North, Largo, Florida 33774-3602. The Gardens are a unique blend of Florida native plants and in both natural and formal gardens. Garden managers have strong interest in education and the promotion of sustainable environmental practices. For detailed information about the Botanical Garden, visit www.flbg.org
. This community-based project was anticipated to result in a permanent artwork-which could be anything from an environmental intervention/mitigation effort to an artwork that would be displayed or integrated in a permanent location.
Miami artist Xavier Cortada applied for and won the commission to implement this Environmental Sustainability Project. His proposal included the creation of a "re-permanent" mangrove installation at the Florida Botanical Gardens, as well as using green flags to spotlight six native tree species which Pinellas County residents should reforest to help regrow the community's native tree canopy. As part of the eco-art project, Cortada will distribute 750 native tree saplings of these six species and green project flags to Pinellas County residents to plant in their front yards.
Cortada is working with the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (http://pinellas.fnpschapters.org/) to develop a campaign to distribute the native saplings and green stick flags to county residents. Several Shorecrest Preparatory School
fifth graders will also be reaching out to their neighbors, giving them a free sapling and flag.