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Native Flags: Understand the Art


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Native Flags

Miami artist Xavier Cortada created this urban reforestation eco-art project  to help restore native habitats for plants and animals in urban areas.
Participating residents are asked to plant a native tree alongside the green project flag in their front yard and state:

"I hereby reclaim this land for nature."

The project's conspicuous green flags serve as a catalyst for conversations with neighbors, who will be encouraged to join the effort and help rebuild  their native tree canopy one yard at a time.

Ideally, as they watch each tree grow,  their interest in the environment will also grow.


About the eco-art project
Fusing art, scientific knowledge, and civic engagement, Native Flags seeks to involve individuals, like you, directly in restoration efforts through the planting, maintaining and protection of native trees.
The restoration of native trees offsets the threat of global warming. This effect has turned urban reforestation effort into a top priority by planting drought-tolerant native plant species. These native plant species reduce the effects of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and increase the amount of clean air present.
Why should we preserve our native environments? Environmental preservation is necessary for cities and towns to have the clean water, clean air, and rich soil that people need. These resources are a result of a delicate system formed by native animals and plants . This system is thrown off balance with the removal or addition of new species, resulting in lower quality resources that yield health and economic problems among people.

Because the pace native reforestation is so slow, we need to think and act quickly and creatively to increase public awareness and understanding of the need to engage in reforestation. With your involvement, Native Flags aims to stimulate commitment and action toward that end.
 2004 - 2013


Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.

FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
FIU College of Architecture + The Arts
Miami Beach Urban Studios
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 440
Miami Beach, FL 33139

 Reclamation Project 



Native Flags

The Reclamation Project and Native Flags are participatory eco-art projects by FIU College of Architecture + The Arts Artist-in-Residence Xavier Cortada.  

In South Florida, they are presented in coordination with our project partners:

FIU Office of University Sustainabiity
MDC Earth Ethics Institute

Copyright 2006-2013 
Xavier Cortada