Miami's First Colored Only Beach
Paradise Renewed: Beach revival and the formation of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust
M. Athalie Range and the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust
In 1995, upon hearing the City plans to develop Virginia Key Beach, Many members of Miami's community spoke in protest of the proposed plan. in 1999, many community leaders banded together along with Former City of Miami and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Arthur Teele to bring back Virginia Key Beach. A march on Miami City hall ensued with the public demanding the beach be reopened as a public park. The City of Miami Commissioners agreed and the motions were put in place for the restoration of Miami's first beach for its communities of color.
Later that year, the Virginia Key Beach Park Civil Rights Task Force was formed. This group of individuals were chosen by the community and elected by the City of Miami to oversee the project. The task force was intended to be effective for 6 months thus a more permanent solution was needed. Soon after, the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust was established and after many years of hard work, fundraising, and devotion, the park opened once again to the public in February 2008. Today the beach is available for family picnics, community and corporate meetings, local events, park tours and general waterfront recreation.
The mission of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is to preserve the cultural and ecological integrity of Virginia Key Beach as a publicly owned green space for Miami's multicultural communities to enjoy.