A Record Year for Volunteering


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

Volunteers tending the pelargonium trough. Photo by Fergal M. Moran

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

Dick using the chipper. Photo by Fergal M. Moran

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!





Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Bay Area Whaleboat Association

Boy scouts


Charles Schwab

City College of San Francisco

Cloudkick / Rack Space

Cresswell High School

Denver Academy

Gay and Lesbian Sierrans

Goldman Sachs

Government Services Association (GSA)

Hotel Vitale

InterContinental Hotel

Americorps volunteering in the Rose Terrace. Photo by Shelagh Fritz


Lanier Law Firm



Merritt College

Msquared Consulting


Nixon Peabody LLP

Ruth Bancroft Garden

Salesforce.com Inc

SCA commuter group

Sleep Train

Goldman Sachs tending the north road calla bed. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Stuart Hall Sacred Heart School for girls

UC Irvine

Union Bank

Wells Fargo Bank




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