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2009-10: Hialeah Elementary School
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Native Flags: Schools
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Hialeah Elementary School
550 East 8th Street
Hialeah, FL3010-4589
Miami-Dade County
Principal: Carolina Naveiras
938 students
School website:

On Wednesday April 14th, 90 Hialeah Elementary School students participated in a field trip to Deering Estate ( where they learned about eco-art and urban reforestation. Deering Estate is the host of the Native Flags program. On the grounds of this historical estate is a Reclamation Project garden featuring 12 flags placed alongside wild specimens of the 12 Reclamation Project trees. The students were treated to a nature walk with staff naturalist Jessica Cabral through a tropical coastal hammock where they learned about Florida’s natural legacy. After the visit 40 Hialeah Elementary students adopted either a Florida privet (Forestiera segregata) or Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) sapling and a Native Flag. Each student will plant these saplings and flags at their homes and make the statement "I hereby reclaim this land for nature.”

On Monday April 19th, Principal Carolina Naverias led 80 additional students in planting a Paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) at a courtyard at Hialeah Elementary School. An additional 45 students adopted either a Green buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) or a Firebush (Hamelia patens) and Native Flag. In total, 85 Hialeah Elementary students adopted native South Florida saplings that will help reforest the City of Hialeah one sapling at a time. 
Hialeah Elementary 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 students to restore Hialeah’s canopy one seedling at a time they play a direct role in reclaiming land for nature. The Reclamation Project received a grant from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs ( to provide this programming.

 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