Established on August 1, 1945 as "The Colored Only Beach", the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust (VKBPT) operates Historic Virginia Key Beach Park (HVKBP), highlighting its rich cultural history, regional South Florida African American and Caribbean Diaspora contributions, civic activism, and environmental preservation to educate future generations. Additionally, the Trust partners with schools and organizations to foster community enrichment through VKBPT programs and events. VKBPT accomplishes its mission by highlighting, educating, and inspiring students, lifelong learners, and the general public about South Florida Black History and the power we all possess to create change in our communities through learning from our elders who paved the way for progress through their social justice and change actions.
The unique 82.5-acre historic space provides visitors a one-mile sand beach, recreational space for sports, family gatherings, large events, eco exploration, or a tranquil respite under one of hundreds of palm trees.
VKBPT's historic and eco-tours are immersive experiences where individuals, families, and groups walk through the property learning about the historic buildings, the history of the property dating back to the 1800s, and the over 100 plant species and wildlife at the Historic Beach Park. Visitors also can view our extensive collection of historic photographs and artifacts at the Museum Park Building or access collections through the VKBPT digital archives online.
The Trust provides both onsite, community, and online digital experiences that highlight our diverse heritage, traditions, resilience, and history, as well as shared values and experiences. VKBPT hosts and participates in several forums, panel discussions, and virtual and in-person events throughout the year. Our websites provide meaningful content, virtual historic tours, documentaries, videos including oral histories, and digital archives for research.
Our mission is to carry forward the vision for the development and use of Virginia Key Beach Park, promoting and maintaining absolute public ownership and access, fostering its perpetuation as a passive open green-space that includes nature trails, recreational facilities and museum structures appropriate and compatible with the nature of Virginia Key; preserving it as a valuable resource to be enjoyed for posterity, and to honor the rich historical legacy of the social and civil rights history of South Florida.