Historic Timeline

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Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Timeline

  • 1945 (August) Virginia Key Beach Park opened as Miami-Dade County’s “Colored Only” beach.
  • 1947 Rickenbacker Causeway is built connecting mainland Miami with Virginia Key and Key Biscayne
  • 1979 Dade County gives the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park property to the City of Miami.
  • 1982 the City of Miami closes the Historic Beach Park citing high maintenance costs.
  • 1987 a Master Plan for Virginia Key was developed by the City of Miami.
  • 1998 City of Miami facing fiscal crisis considers private development of the public site for exclusive use.
  • 1999 (June) Miami City Commission established an official Virginia Key Park Civil Rights Task Force.
  • 2000 (January) a Virginia Key Beach Park Planning Charrette was conducted to determine future use of the historic property.
  • 2000 (December) Miami City Commission established the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.
  • 2002 (June) Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2003 (February) Virginia Key Beach Park Trust starts $30 million Master Plan process.
  • 2003 (November) Groundbreaking for phase one of restoration & repair of historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2004 (August) Shoreline re-nourishment project begins on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2004 (November) County-wide bond program is passed by voters and the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is awarded $15.5 million for construction.
  • 2005 (January) Sanitary Sewer project begins on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2005 (June) County-Wide General Obligation Bond program kick-off press conference is held on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2005 (August) Sanitary Sewer project is complete and pump station is energized.
  • 2005 (October) A full list of capital construction projects begin to prepare for beach re-opening highlighted by the Board of Trustees’ selection of Lord Cultural Resources and Management, a respected museum design team, to design the museum/cultural center on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2005 (November) Army Corps of Engineers Section 111 Shoreline Stabilization Project is completed.
  • 2006 (February) Completion of Trust administrative office; Trust staff moves to construction site on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2006 (April) Phase two of restoration (Circulation Roads and Parking Lot Improvements) begins.
  • 2006 (August) Miniature Train Corporation (MTC) 16-Gauge Mini Train returns to Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
  • 2006 (September) BEA International is selected as the Design Team for Museum Building on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2007 (February) Release of RFP for Exotic Vegetation Removal on Historic Beach Park.
  • 2007 (July) Completion date for Circulation Road and Parking Lot Improvement.
  • 2007 (August) First YMCA Junior Marine Biology Summer Camp is completed on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
  • 2007 (November) Completion of first phase of Exotic Vegetation Removal on Historic Beach Park
  • 2008 (February) Completion of the DERM Virginia Key Restoration Project – exotic vegetation removal, land clearing and native vegetation planting
  • 2008 (February) Completion of the Kids Play Area (Boundless Playground)
  • 2008 (February) Historic Mini Train repainting in Florida East Coast Railroad colors is completed and railroad track installation begins
  • 2008 (February 22nd) Historic Virginia Key Beach Park re-opens to the public for first time in 26 years.
  • 2008 (June) City of Miami passes buoy line ordinance to clear the way for safety buoys installed at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
  • 2008 (July) Haley Sharpe is selected as the exhibit design team for the Museum on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2008 (August) YMCA Marine biology Summer Camp is completed on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and wins “Best Summer Camp.”
  • 2008 (August) Historic Mini Train and Railroad re-opens to the public for the first time in over 35 years.
  • 2008 (November) Two historic picnic pavilions are upgraded with shade structures.
  • 2008 (December) Bear’s Cut Current Study is completed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • 2009 (January) More than 1,000 native plants and trees are planted by 1,000 volunteers on Historic beach park property adding to the native landscape restoration.
  • 2009 (February) Historic Carousel is fully operational and re-opens to the public for the first time in over 35 years.
  • 2009 (October) Budget shortfalls at the City of Miami result in zero funding from the City to Virginia Key Beach Park Trust and major staff reductions.
  • 2010 (January) A buoy line is installed off the shore of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Bear’s Cut designating the entire length of the beach a non-motorized watercraft zone.
  • 2010 (March) the Trust completes negotiations with Haley Sharpe Design for the fabrication and installation of outdoor interpretive exhibits and signage for Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2011 (May) the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) returns to study and survey area for the completion of the ecosystem restoration project on Virginia Key and Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
  • 2012 (February) A new playground for children 5-12 is constructed on the Northern end of the Historic Beach Park property.
  • 2012 (November) Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) ecosystem restoration project scheduled to begin on Virginia Key.
  • 2013 (July) The completion of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) ecosystem restoration project.
  • 2014 (February) 3 wood cabins and a wood “Tea House” constructed on the Historic Beach Park by volunteers from the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival.
  • 2014 (May) 1,000 native plants and trees are planted by 150 volunteers from Tourism Cares in the 17 acre hardwood hammock adding to the native landscape restoration.
  • 2015 (June) Tiki Village picnic area complete features a large Tiki Hut picnic Pavilion and Tiki picnic tables2015 (August) 70th Anniversary of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park 1945-2015

 

 

 

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