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Native Flags: Understand the Project

Native flag with Paradise TreeNative Flags

“I hereby reclaim this land for nature!”

Miami artist Xavier Cortada created Native Flags as an urban reforestation project to help restore native habitats for plants and animals across South Florida.  Launched last year at the Miami Science Museum, Native Flags  now calls on individuals  globally to join the effort.
On June 29th, 2008, Cortada traveled to the North Pole and planted a green flag, signalling for us to join him in a global reforestation effort.

Participating residents are asked to plant one of a native tree 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. Ideally, as they watch each tree grow,  their interest in the environment will also grow.
A call for Native Flags in Congress
On June 12, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent letters to her colleagues in Congress asking them to plant a green flag and native tree in their district. Click here to see the congresswoman show her support for Native Flags at the U.S. Capitol.

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.

FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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


 Reclamation Project

 NYFA sponsored-artist participatory eco-art projects


Native Flags   






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