Melbourne is a vigorous barrier island community of 77,000 located mid-way down the east coast of Florida. Its redevelopment efforts have resulted in a revitalized and growing community. The intracoastal and nearby bays offer plenty of places to keep your boat as well as easy cruising, fishing, and sailing. After the Civil War, Melbourne was founded by former slaves. The region is frequently called the "Space Coast", a reference to its proximity to Cape Canaveral. Melbourne is also home to the Florida Institute of Technology and houses a major campus for Brevard Community College (BCC). Melbourne represents an alternative to living in the big city or a very affluent community. There are 33 miles of unspoiled beaches along the ocean, plus plenty of waterways connected to the intercoastal. Water sports such as surfing, fishing, and sailing are very popular. The Washington Nationals have their spring training in Melbourne. The city has over 500 acres of parks.