The Reclamation Project
RECLAMATION PROJECT – URBAN REFORESTATION
The Reclamation Project is a participatory eco-art project aimed at rebuilding our native tree canopy one tree at a time. Conceptualized by Miami artist Xavier Cortada, The Reclamation Project engages residents in this urban reforestation effort by encouraging them to plant a native tree and green flag in their front yard and then encouraging their friends and neighbors to do the same. As your tree grows, community interest in protecting the environment grows with it. Since the Reclamation Project’s inception in 2007, over 1,000 native trees and flags have been planted throughout Greater Miami and other parts of Florida including the Treasure Coast and Pinellas County. The Reclamation Project website provides a platform for participants to upload pictures and learn more about urban conservation.
A healthy, native urban canopy ensures considerable ecosystem services. Native trees provide habitat for local fauna, prevent soil erosion, offer shade and reduce electric bills, increase property values and provide global environmental benefits through the capture of carbon dioxide and the production oxygen from their leaves. Currently, Miami’s average urban canopy cover is 10%, well below the national urban average of 30%. Citizen involvement is crucial to returning tree canopies to our urban landscape.
NATIVE FLAGS - URBAN REFORESTATION INSTALLATION
Directed by Miami artist Xavier Cortada, the Native Flags - Urban Reforestation campaign aims to help restore native habitats for plants and animals across Miami-Dade County. Visitors to the Native Flags Installation and participants in the Reclamation Project are asked to plant a sapling of a native tree and a green flag in their yard and then encourage their neighbors to do the same. By doing so, residents across the county will reclaim land for native trees displaced long ago by development.
The Urban Reforestation installation located at the Deering Estate at Cutler is a self-guided nature trail experience located in three native Florida habitat’s that are protected and preserved on the Estate’s main grounds. The exhibit is viewable during regular Estate hours and free with Estate admission. A self-guided tour of the Urban Reforestation installation is also available. A complementary Indoor Native Flags Exhibit is under development and will be located inside the Visitor Center Exhibit Hall.
To learn more about the native tree resources in your community below, please visit some of our educational partners:
Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department
Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources/Adopt-A-Tree
Miami Tree Master Plan
Florida Native Plant Society
Other Native Trees Resources
Miami-Dade Native Tree List
University of Florida's Native Trees
Citizens for a Better South Florida
SCHOOL YARD SCIENCE URBAN REFORESTATION CURRICULUM
Through the School Yard Science Urban Reforestation program, the Deering Estate at Cutler offers on-site and in-school programming opportunities, lesson plans and teacher education workshops that are designed to bring participatory art and science curriculum to teachers, youth and their families to create global citizens better equipped to provide solutions to critical urban problems today, tomorrow and for our future. All programs are correlated to the Sunshine State Standards and are FCAT compatible. They are structured to engage participants in interactive, positive and balanced activities that help foster an understanding and appreciation as they think critically about the world around them.
Field Study Trips
The Deering Estate at Cutler is an assured destination for a wealth of experiential and recreation based educational programs that are aligned with local and state standards of learning. The Living Classroom at the Deering Estate at Cutler serves as an environmental education center for all of Miami-Dade County. The 444 acre Estate encompasses globally endangered pine rockland habitat, among the largest blocks of this ecosystem remaining in the United States, as well as coastal tropical hardwood rockland hammocks, mangrove forests, salt marshes, a coastal dune island and the submerged resources of Biscayne Bay. It is one of the few remaining Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) in Miami-Dade County, as well the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All of our Field Study Trips include web-based, pre- and post-activity guides, interactive tours, on-site projects and can be modified to fit your particular interests. On-Site Field Study Trips can accommodate up to 4 groups of 30 participants simultaneously. Field Study Trips are led by Education and Interpretive Staff and include one (1) Field Study and one (1) tour/hike during their visit:
Fee: $5 per participant (cost of materials is included in the fee). For more information on the Deering Estate at Cutler’s SYS program, please contact Karlisa Callwood at 305-235-1668 ext. 238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Yard Science Classroom in Box and Service Learning Program
Equipped with fossils, artifacts and tools, live or preserved specimens, photographs and simple laboratory experiments, our Eco-Brigade - the Deering Estate at Cutler’s Education and Interpretive Staff - bring curriculum to community youth in the fields of ecology, geology, marine biology, archaeology, history and ecoart. These hands-on lessons and experiments are used to engage the minds and hands of students eager to learn through activities that illustrate and apply the key points of the specific topics covered. Educators will have several options as to how to incorporate the School Yard Science program into their classrooms:
A Season for Change: what are the differences in the seasons?
Greenhouse Effect - examine the roles that the sun and atmosphere play in keeping our planet warm
Weather Metrics: design/build different tools to measure the weather
Invasive Sampling: utilize plant sampling techniques as you look for exotics
Climate Change: examine and debate the effects of climate chang
Fee: $5 per participant (cost of materials is included in the fee). For more information on the Deering Estate at Cutler’s SYS program, please contact Karlisa Callwood at 305-235-1668 ext. 238.
EARTH DAY: Reclamation Project at all 328 Miami-Dade Public Schools
To mark this special day, Miami-Dade County Public Schools has partnered with local artist Xavier Cortada to bring his Reclamation Project/Native Flags initiative, a participatory eco-art project to help regrow our native tree canopy, to each of the District’s schools. Prior to Earth Day, each school will receive a native tree sapling and green project flag to be planted on the school grounds. Upon planting the flag alongside the tree, students will be able to proclaim that they are "reclaiming that land for nature.”
WLRN has produced an informational video, which can be viewed and enjoyed during Earth Week and particularly on Earth Day, describing the importance of engaging students and the community in planting and nurturing these small tree saplings over time to help increase our native tree canopy.