The opportunity to garden on Alcatraz has always been one of the more unique places to volunteer in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Volunteers are
drawn to the island for many reasons: to learn about gardening, to meet new friends, to learn the real stories about Alcatraz or to simply brag to their friends that they gardened on Alcatraz. The popularity of the volunteer garden program continues to grow and 2011 was a record year with 7987.25 hours being logged.
This staggering total was achieved with the help of 138 volunteers that turned out for the regular Wednesday or Friday volunteer program, and from 711 people that came to garden as part of a work group. Over the course of the year, 47 work groups participated in stewarding different garden areas. Many of these people were first time gardeners.
With 4.5 acres of gardens that are seen
by 5000 people a day, it takes special dedication to have the gardens looking their best every day. Working alongside Garden Conservancy staff, volunteers are an integral part of caring for the gardens. Many volunteers have their own area that they tend faithfully while others are happy to do whatever is needed. Still, others enjoy the big projects of re-setting brick walls, stabilizing terraces and turning mounds of compost. I believe there is a job for everyone, no matter what color their thumb is.
Thank you to everyone that supported the gardens this past year, the gardens continue to thrive!
Bay Area Whaleboat Association
City College of San Francisco
Cloudkick / Rack Space
Cresswell High School
Gay and Lesbian Sierrans
Government Services Association (GSA)
Lanier Law Firm
Nixon Peabody LLP
Ruth Bancroft Garden
SCA commuter group
Stuart Hall Sacred Heart School for girls
Wells Fargo Bank