When I visited Alcatraz last week, I wasn’t especially interested in seeing the cell house to which most of my fellow tourists made a beeline. Instead, I looked for the remnants of the earlier fort and for the gardens Huell featured in this episode of California’s Golden Parks.
This episode aired 11 years ago, in 2007, so it was really great to see all the progress made in the restoration of the gardens between then and now.
There have been gardens on the island of Alcatraz since the days of the Civil War. People have always found a way to coax things of beauty from this windswept and desolate place. Inmates of the “Rock” found it especially nice to get out in the fresh air and tend to the gardens.
After many years of neglect, the Gardens Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area have begun a multi million-dollar restoration of the gardens. Huell gets a special look at this almost forgotten part of our history.