Alcatraz Island, California
Alcatraz prison is known for its harsh environment, but what about its gardens? Over a period of 100 years, several gardens were planted on the Rock by officers, their families, and even prisoners. Many of the plants in those gardens were chosen to withstand the harsh climatic conditions at the prison and so continue to flourish even today, decades after the prison closed. In 2003, the Garden Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy formed a partnership with National Park Service to restore key gardens on Alcatraz Island, part of Golden Gate Recreation Area. A Save America’s Treasures grant helped restore structural elements of the gardens, rehabilitate plantings, and create infrastructure to sustain them. Volunteers logged over 3,600 hours working on the project. The garden’s website has a comprehensive guide to the gardens of Alcatraz and visitors can view the Officers’ Row gardens from a walkway constructed by the NPS.
Photo: Officers' Row at the Alcatraz Gardens