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Shorecrest Preparatory: About the School

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Service Learning

Art and science team up for the environment

Thanks to alumnus Hutch Craig '89, Shorecrest has partnered with Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada on a participatory art project. The Reclamation Project will kick off on Monday, Sept. 22 at Weedon Island with more than 30 members of the Middle Division art and science clubs.

The students, accompanied by their X-Block club advisors Cindy Williams and Tracie Belt and working under the supervision of a U. S. Geological Survey scientist and the artist, will spend the morning collecting Red Mangrove propagules. They plan to collect about 250 of the cigar-shaped propagules for the "Reclamation" phase of the project.

ready to plantPhoto courtesy of Newfound Harbor Marine Institute

The collected propagules will become a part of an art installation at the Florida Botanical Gardens for the next several months where each "seedling" will be placed in a water-filled clear plastic cup and hung on an exterior wall of the Gardens in a grid pattern. During this time, the propagules will sprout roots and get ready to be planted during the "Reforestation" phase of this project in the Spring.

The teachers are thrilled about this unique opportunity to combine art and science for the benefit of our local environment and to provide a chance for students to learn more about the important role mangroves play in the protection of marine life and prevention of coastal erosion in the Tampa Bay region.

The artist and the teachers plan for this to become an annual project for Shorecrest where students will continue to play an active role in sustaining this effort.

For more information about The Reclamation Project, visit

Next phase of the Reclamation Project

The west-facing window of the Sher Center office has become a nursery of sorts. It is home to nearly 100 Red Mangrove propagules as a part of the Reclamation Project's next phase.

For the next several months, the cigar-shaped propagules, sitting in water-filled clear plastic cups, will sprout leaves and roots. In the spring, they will be planted around the Tampa Bay coastline as a part of The Reforestation Project.

This is a joint project between the Middle Division Art and Science Clubs that meet during Wednesday's X-Block. Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada conceived the project, and there are similar installations at Tampa Prep and the Florida Botanical Gardens.

Art teacher Cindy Williams' students spent Wednesday afternoon getting the propagules and the cups ready and beginning the installation. Science teacher Trace Belt's students will study and monitor the rate of growth of the propagules.

For more information about The Reclamation Project, visit their website.

Urban Reforestation:

Shorecrest Prep students will help implement the Reclamation Project's urban reforestation campaign launched at the Florida Botanical Gardens. The eco-art effort sponsored by Pinellas County's art in public places program will work together with Shorecrest Prep to help distribute the six native tree species on "exhibit" at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. The spotlighted trees include: Green Buttonwood, Bald Cypress, Winged Elm and Slash Pine.

The first 100 saplings/flags to the fifth grade class of Shorecrest Prep School.  Students will plant the tree and green flag in their front yard.  When neighbors notice and inquire about the green flag, students can become environmental emissaries and explain the importance of rebuilding our native tree canopy. 

The fifth graders will encourage at least one neighbor to plant a tree and flag in their front yard, so another 100 flags/trees may be committed in that effort. Participants will be asked to post their images on the project website.  Students will also help by creating hand-painted cards that we would attach to the saplings being distributed in the community at large.  A total of 750 trees and flags will be distributed in 2008-2009.

Fortunately, we have a strong partner in Shorecrest, as they plan on perpetuating this tradition: each future fifth grader will receive a flag and native sapling to plant in their front yards.



 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