Beach Takeover at Virginia Key Beach North Point

This is your beach! Show your love at a Beach Takeover!

MLK Day of Service: Coastal Cleanup, Native Planting, and Nonprofit Expo

Saturday, January 15th at 9:30AM

Message for Volunteers

Hello MLK Day of Service Volunteers,

 

We are so excited to see our community come together to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. Your dedication of time to our Third Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service shines a light on hope for a better tomorrow. We exist in a time of great uncertainty. Yet we persevere.  We gather, as we can, and unite at this most exceptional City of Miami Park, Virginia Key Beach North Point Park, for the promise of a better tomorrow.

 

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

The organizations that make this event possible:  The MLK Day of Service is a program of and presented by Virginia Key Outdoor Center and OutdoorConnections, a 501(c)3, together dedicated to improving our communities through volunteer services, environmental education, empowering young people to strive for a better tomorrow.  This event is possible thanks to the support and collaboration of the City of Miami Parks Department, Rickenbacker Marina, Shell Lumber, Citizens For A Better South Florida, Debris Free Oceans and Volunteer Cleanup. With special thanks to our participating organizations MUVE, Dreams Hatchery, Pridelines, Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, Code/Art, Dade Heritage Trust, Inc. and the Miami Recovery Project.  Be sure to stop by each booth. There will be some awesome displays and possibly some giveaways too.

 

Below are a few items to help make your arrival easier.

 

ADDRESS

Virginia Key Outdoor Center is located at

3801 Rickenbacker Causeway

Arthur Lamb Jr. Road

Miami, FL 3314

 

We are inside Virginia Key Beach North Point Park with its entrance on Arthur Lamb Jr. Road at the Rickenbacker Causeway.

 

Addresses on the island are non-standard. This means the some gps applications and crowd sourced maps may direct you to the wrong location or leave you at the entrance gate (approx 2-miles away from the center).

 

DIRECTIONS

For directions to our facility please visit www.vkoc.net/directions

 

RIDE SHARE

Be sure you are dropped off at the Outdoor Center (nearly 2-miles from the park gatehouse) Do not exit your vehicle at the gate. Instruct the driver to continue following the signs to VKOC. You will see kayaks, bikes and a two building with a wooden deck and large white canopy.

 

UPON ARRIVAL:

Please proceed to the Check-In Area.  Each participant must complete a waiver. Minors need adult authorization to participate. Please be sure an adult is available to sign the waiver.

 

PARKING

The outdoor center is nearly 2-miles past the entrance gate.  Please follow signs for “Rentals” and “Mountain Bike Trails.” 

 

When you get close you will see red and white parking signs.  Please do not block the road, park or stop on the road, or block in any other vehicles.  Please do not park by or near the dumpsters as they will be used for the event. 

 

See the Event Maps for details posted on www.vkoc.net/cleanups

 

Parking is regularly $8 per vehicle at the gate. Parking is waived for all event participants. Thank you City of Miami Park!!

 

WHAT TO BRING & WEAR

Closed toe shoes are highly recommended. No flip flops or bare feet. Be ready to get your feet wet, or more if you’re on the water.  Long sleeves, sunscreen, repellant.

 

WHAT WE PROVIDE

We will have bags, buckets, gloves, water (bring a bottle), sunscreen will be available, tools needed for the project for which you registered.  

 

WORK TO BE DONE

Service areas are broken down into Zones.  Record, document and make this island better.

 

We will take lots of photos. If you see anything curious or odd please upload to the event shared photo album at

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rEfzgqt9qznn57cH7

 

FOOD & DRINKS

Water will be available for event volunteers.  Please bring a water bottle.  If you would like to purchase food or beverages you may do so from Cienfuegos Coffee and TropiDogs.  They will be onsite with early morning coffee and midday deluxe dogs.  Snack and drinks are also available from VKOC inside the retail area.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Please use hashtags

#MLKDayMiami                         

#VirginiaKey

#DiscoverVirginiaKey

#MiamiParks

#OCXUSA

 

Location is Virginia Key Outdoor Center

 

 

Zone A and B – Shoreline Cleanup

Participants:  All ages.  No unaccompanied children.

Materials:  Bags, buckets, gloves, some scissors

Assignment:  Removal of debris from our shoreline. You can expect to find fishing line, bottles, bait containers and debris that you regularly see on motor boats. You may need to untangle fishing line from mangroves. Scissors are great for this, and patience. This is not about how many pounds but about how many birds, sea turtles, and fish can live without losing a foot, eye, or their lives.

Caution:  All glass and any metal is to be placed in buckets, not in bags. Look up when waking through the woods. Fishing line is hard to see. Be careful as some may have hooks.

Goal:  Walk the length of your zone, retrieve as much debris as possible.  Bring all debris to the sorting area where it will be sorted, counted and weighed/quantified.

 

Zone C – Coastal Cleanup  (Kayak and Paddleboards, reserved in advance, full for this event)

Participants:  Adults and teens. This area is not for young children.  If you specifically reserved a kayak or paddleboard this is your Zone.  If you reserved as a participant you are on land.

Materials:  Bags, buckets, gloves, some scissors, kayaks and paddleboards, safety equipment

Assignment:  Removal of debris from our most remote shoreline. You can expect to find debris that you regularly see on motor boats or on someone’s waterfront deck. Large marine debris is possible here.  This area tends to collect bulkier debris than the shoreline.  If you find a can or bottle that had become home to marine life, leave it in place.

Caution:  All glass and any metal is to be placed in buckets, not in bags. Larger items may require additional assistance. If you encounter items larger than you can safely return please place it above the high water mark. Note the location and take a photo. We will coordinate its removal with boat support

Goal:  Paddle to the most remote area of Virginia Key and recover the coastline. Bring all debris to the sorting area where it will be sorted, counted and weighed/quantified.

 

Zone D and E – Invasive Plant Removal

Participants:  Adults and older teens. No children under 16.

Materials:  Garden tools, saws, loppers, garden shears, knives, rakes, shovel, bags, buckets, gloves.

Assignment:  Removal of Brazilian Pepper, leatherleaf, and invasive vines. We will collect Brazilian Pepper seeds to minimize the reseeding after removal. Smaller leatherleaf plants can be pulled.  We will identify the target species onsite. All cuttings will be marked and removed to City of Miami trucks at the base of the trails.  Rake area to ensure no hazards are created by drebis from removal.

Caution:  Work is on an open mountain bike trail. Be mindful of where you stand and bike traffic. Native plants are in the area. Do not disturb native species please.

Goal:  Get rid of invasive plants. Make way for future native plantings.

 

Zone F – Tree Stake Removal

Participants:  Adults and older teens. No children under 16.

Materials:  Gloves, possibly tools.

Assignment:  Removal of stakes from native plantings and remove from trails. All cuttings will be marked and removed to City of Miami trucks at the base of the trails.

Caution:  Work is on an open mountain bike trail in a narrow area of the trails. Be mindful of where you stand and bike traffic. Will need a lookout person to alert cyclists volunteers are in the area. Some stakes may have splinters. Sharp objects possible.

Goal:  Make it pretty.  Get rid of stakes to make way for enjoyment and general ongoing maintenance.

 

We do not leave debris behind for others to pick up.  All debris will be sorted, quantified, weighed and taken to the City dumpsters.  Large Items will be taken to the back end f the dumpster area where it will be later taken offsite.

 

LOST AND FOUND/FIRST AID

Please go to the OutdoorConnections booth for any lost and found items or if you need first aid or other assistance.

 

CONTACT

If you have any questions, please text 786.224.4777 or email info@vkoc.net with any questions.

 

Thank you does not even begin to express how grateful we are that you chose to spend your morning with us. 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Event Listing

Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off." MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."  This year, Outdoor Connections will be hosting a Day Of Service at Virginia Key North Point Park at its Adventure hub, The Virginia Key Outdoor Center. There will be a nonprofit exhibition fair during this event. Participants will be able to get information from local organizations and have the opportunity to sign up and get more involved with their program offerings!  

 

Service Opportunities  

  • 9:30AM - 12PM: Coastal Clean Up - We will be cleaning up our shores on Virginia Key. *Limited* Free Kayak rentals are available to Volunteers that RSVP at vkoc.net/cleanups. Free rentals are available at a first come, first serve basis. You must RSVP. We will also have a on land crew, cleaning the shoreline. Please RSVP. For those going on the water, you will be departing at 9:30AM. You must arrive 20 minutes prior for check-ins. Check ins start as early as 8:30AM  
  • 9:30AM - 12PM: Invasive Plant Removal - Join VKOC along with the City of Miami Parks’ Department Naturalists and Local organizations remove invasive from the Virginia Key Mountain Bike Trails.

What Nonprofits will be There?

As of 12/05/2021 the following organizations will be showcasing their programs and participating in service activities:

  • Outdoor Connections
  • Pridelines
  • Dreams Hatchery
  • Debris Free Oceans
  • Citizens for a Better South Florida
  • Pelican Harbor Seabird Station
  • Code/Art 11
  • Dade Heritage Trust, Inc.
  • MUVE, Frost Science 

 

Monthly Beach Take Over - Beach Clean Up!

We are a formidable army of people who love nature. Join one a clean-up and take back your island.

 There is a clean up on the first Saturday of EVERY month! You got options! Hope to see you soon! #ThinkAboutEarth

Past Beach Take Over Partners