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South Florida: About the Project

The Reclamation Project is presented in South Florida by the Miami Science Museum.

Coastal Reforestation

The Reclamation Project installation at the Miami Science Museum displays over 1,100 mangrove seedlings in clear, water-filled cups.  They will grow there for a year until they are ready to be reforested.  At that time, another 1,100 seedlings will be nurtured in this re-permanent nursery.

These Red Mangrove seedlings, as well as those displayed in retail locations across South Beach, will be planted by volunteers along Biscayne Bay.

Annually, the Reclamation Project plants thousands of mangroves on our bay, rebuilding ecosystems above and below the water line.

Urban Reforestation

On October 4th, 2007, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz launched this urban reforestation effort by planting a Paradise tree (left) land the first Native Flag at the Miami Science Museum Energy Park. 

Miami artist Xavier Cortada created this participatory eco-art project as an urban reforestation project  to help restore native habitats for plants and animals across South Florida.  

Participating residents are asked to plant one of 12 native trees alongside the green project flag in their 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.

Our partners:

Other groups, including Citizens for a Better South Florida, Hands on Miami, the City of Miami Office of Sustainable Initiatives, Democracia USA and the League of Conservation Voters have used the Native Flags project as a vehicle for community engagement in their urban reforestation and environmental awareness efforts. 
Follow-up efforts on sustainability (as well as community building) will be encouraged through this volunteer network.

Community groups and native nurseries are encouraged to become project partners. For more information, please contact the artist at .


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