Virginia Key Beach Park TrustVirginia Key Beach Park Trust
The Mission of Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is to create and carry forward a community-based vision for the development and use of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park by a) promoting and maintaining absolute public ownership and access; b) fostering it... Read more
The Mission of Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is to create and carry forward a community-based vision for the development and use of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park by a) promoting and maintaining absolute public ownership and access; b) fostering its perpetuation as a passive open green-space which includes nature trails, reacreational facilities and appropriate museum structures, all compatible with the natural environment of Virginia Key; c) honoring the rich social and cultural history of the site and of South Florida; and d) preserving the site as a valuable historical, environmental, educational and recreational resource to be enjoyed by posterity.
"Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, once called "Bear's Cut", was frequented in the early 1900's by Black settlers arriving on the island by ferry from a dock at the end of Fifth street, in downtown Miami. Established on August 1, 1945, as the "Colored Only" beach, this site immediately became a spot for social gatherings sacred to Black residents who made weekly trips to enjoy amenities such as the carousel, the dancing pavilion or the mini-train that would run through the enormous park. During this era, there was a lack of beach facilities for Blacks and this 1000-acre barrier island characterized by a unique and fragile natural environment, served as the recreational location for those who wanted to bask in the splendor of the sun and ocean. Former City of Miami Commissioner, M. Athalie Range was instrumental, together with the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, in adding this remarkable landmark to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2002."