The Gardens of Alcatraz are located on the Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles from San Francisco, California. Long before these gardens were set up, the Alcatraz remained an isolated island. It was owned by Julian Workman who was acquired it from Mexican governor Pio Pico in 1846 to build a lighthouse on the island. After that, the island of Alcatraz served as military base and then as prison until 1972 when it was declared as national recreation area.
In 2003, the Garden Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy formed a partnership with the National Park Service to restore and maintain key gardens on Alcatraz. Gardens were built and restored to establish it as center of horticultural and cultural significance.
These days, the Gardens of Alcatraz are home to various succulent plants, geraniums, heirloom varieties of rose and many rare plants acquired from around the globe. All the gardens have been developed, cleaned, restored and populated by apple and fig trees, banks of sweet peas, manicured gardens of cutting flowers, and wildly overgrown sections of native grasses with blackberry and honeysuckle.
The island is also known for its famous Agave Path – a trail named for dense population of Agave plants. Today, the Garden Conservancy’s staff works with volunteer gardeners to maintain the historic gardens at Alcatraz.
Alcatraz is also known as ‘The Rock’.