As part of The Dana Agency’s pro-bono public relations and marketing services for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ owned small businesses and organizations across the nation, the agency is now working with the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
The Dana Agency selected the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park because of its long history of supporting the Black community. As the city of Miami grew in 1920 and beaches and parks were developed exclusively for the white population, Black individuals were left with no beaches to enjoy. As a result of Black protests, a secluded beach on Virginia Key known as “Bears Cut,” which was only accessible by boat, became an official “colored only” site. “Virginia Beach, a Dade County Park for the exclusive use of Negroes,” was officially opened on August 1, 1945.
With its shaded picnic areas, barbecue pits, cottages, and carousel rides, Virginia Key Beach quickly became a cherished getaway and social gathering place for the Black community. However, unfortunately in 1982, the City of Miami closed Virginia Key Beach Park, citing high maintenance costs.
In 1999, the Miami City Commission established the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust to develop the historic park. Since then, the Trust has worked to provide the Miami community with a space for family gatherings, corporate meetings, entertainment events, a beach for swimming activities, and much more. In 2008, the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park re-opened to the public, continuing its mission of providing a safe haven for Miamians to retreat to.
Today, as the park celebrates its 75th Anniversary, guests can swim, explore coastal hammock trails, ride on the antique carousel and mini train, or stroll a mile-long shoreline while enjoying rich cultural history. Free eco tours are also offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To learn more about the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and all of its upcoming events, please visit https://virginiakeybeachpark.net/projects/.