Virginia Key has a rich history, culturally and ecologically. To celebrate this history and encourage stewardship, COSEE Florida teamed with the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s Museum Volunteers for the Environment (MUVE) and HistoryMiami for a Green Drinks event. Under the light of the full moon in the courtyard of the Miami-Dade Cultural Plaza, expert panelists ranging from historians and artists to ecologists and restoration biologists told the story of Virginia Key.
Panelists shared history of Virginia Key dating back to the Seminole and Tequesta Indians and a time when the coastal morphology actually connected it to Miami Beach. Virginia Key was also once Miami’s “Colored Beach.” But even during segregation, Virginia Key was unique. It housed the Virginia Key Beach Park, a beach park that had all the amenities a “White Beach” would have; it was a rare example of the concept of separate but equal.
Today Virginia Key is still an example of the power of community. Programs like MUVE are coordinating local volunteers to restore the dune habitat back to its original glory. FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute is using mangrove propagules as bio-indicators of pollution. Miami Dade County has plans to cap and manage a historic landfill in order to create a central park in Virginia Key. The Historic Virginia Key Beach Park Trust is working to maintain the historic beach park so that it can be enjoyed for years to come.
With so many community partners working to restore and conserve Virginia Key, it will continue being a place everyone can enjoy.
If you weren’t able to make it out to this event and want to find out what was discussed, check out the storified twitter-convo!
If you’d like more information on the ecological restoration of Virginia Key follow MUVE on Twitter @MUVEmiami, on Instagram @MUVEmiami, or on Facebook at MUVE.
If you’d like more information on the history of Virginia Key and Miami, follow HistoryMiami on Twitter @HistoryMiami, on Instagram @HistoryMiami, or on Facebook at HistoryMiami.
If you’d like more information on the rich cultural history of Virginia Key, visit the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.
For more science café events in Miami, follow COSEE Florida on Twitter @COSEEFlorida, on Instagram @COSEEFlorida, or on Facebook at COSEE Florida. Or search #COSEEMIA on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Stay tuned for details on the next COSEE Florida #COSEEMIA science café “The Science Behind Science Fiction” December 10th, 2014 at Open Stage Club in Coral Gables.
COSEE Florida News
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