On Wednesday April 7th, 2010, Xavier Cortada and Principal Deborah Love joined Filer Middle School students in planting a Sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) and Native Flag on the campus of Filer Middle School. This sapling will one day become a large shade producing tree in an area where students play sports and congregate.
In addition, 20 Filer Middle School students adopted a Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) or Firebush (Hamelia patens) sapling and a Native Flag. The twenty students will plant these saplings and flags at their homes and make the statement "I hereby reclaim this land for nature.”
The event was filmed by a WLRN (www.wlrn.org) television crew who are filming a "how-to” video that will be distributed to all 328 Miami-Dade County public school principals allowing them to follow Filer Middle School’s example in planting one of 12 species of native tree and a native flag on their school campus. This event, which will take place simultaneously across the district's other 327 schools on Earth Day 2010 will ensure that all local public schools make a statement for nature and help restore our collective urban canopy.
Filer Middle School was selected for its location in Hialeah, a municipality west of Miami with a relatively low canopy cover percentage of roughly 5-10% compared to the national urban average of 30%. By engaging Filer students to restore Hialeah’s canopy one seedling at a time they play a direct role in reclaiming land for nature.