Fly Line is a social eco-art project making a neighborhood to share with the birds.


Project for the Brightwalk neighborhood, Charlotte, North Carolina

Commissioned by the McColl Center for Art and Innovation

As part of the ArtPlace Environmental Artist Residency

Neighborhood wide planting of native trees and shrubs as well as before and after bird counts by the Audubon Society


A ribbon of bird habitat vegetation is planted with the community in the marginal landscape remnants of the neighborhood. This project promotes an interaction between birds and the human neighbors as they both navigate through the landscape.

Birds blur the sense of real estate boundaries: they are a shared part of the landscape, and are not confined by property lines. These animals remain fascinating to all generations, and the knowledge of birds never seems to grown old. Birds are as non-denominational as the weather, shareable under all circumstances.

The project involves creating three sites in the park that benefit both the avian and human visitors. These corridors of native shrubs and trees create habitat for birds to nest, eat, and move through.

In one weekend, 109 volunteers working with TreesCharlotte planted 173 native trees and 208 shrubs for Fly Line.

The species of plants were chosen for four qualities: larval hosts, berry-producers, nectar-producers, and nut-producers. Each of these types of plants are used at different times in the bird’s life cycle. The artist worked with Doug Tallamy, an entomologist famous for visionary work in backyard bird habitat creation. 

In areas that were only grass, a new habitat arose, giving birds both a food source and a place to live.

Building these avian landscapes fosters community development through activities for all ages. Bird Count is one example of these activities. Sponsored by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon, this activity is renowned for bringing people of different ages together in the common goal of counting the bird populations. It is excellent at encouraging kids and older people alike to keep their eyes and ears open, and hone their powers of observation.  

Though the bird habitat starts small, it will continue to grow and fill in long into the future.


Open these booklets for details on the artwork: