Alcatraz Historic Gardens
Parks Powered by Volunteers
When: Wednesdays and Fridays, 8am–Noon
The Alcatraz Gardens Stewardship Program aims to preserve the historic gardens once tended by the island’s military and penitentiary residents. For more than a century, gardens were an important part of everyday life for officers, families, and prisoners confined to Alcatraz by sentence or duty. Many of the plants selected by these unheralded gardeners proved to be excellent choices for the harsh and barren environment, flourishing through the four decades of neglect that followed the prison’s closing.
Volunteers help care for the restored gardens with activities such as weeding, pruning, composting (award winning!), planting, propagating, and seed collecting. As an added bonus, garden volunteers arrive on Alcatraz before other visitors, so you can experience the island during the most tranquil time of day. Please note, this program requires a two month minimum commitment.
Corporate groups: If your company or team would like to volunteer on Alcatraz, we have a special program just for you, the Alcatraz Rock Stars program! To sign up please visit our Corporate Volunteering page.
Groups require special arrangements and must be confirmed in advance. Schools and community groups: Fill out the Group Project Request Form.
Age, Skills, What to Bring:
- Volunteers ages 15 and up are welcome.
- Bring your completed Volunteer Agreement Form (PDF). Volunteers under the age of 18 must have the parent/guardian approval section signed.
- We'll be working rain or shine. Wear clothes that can get dirty. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Bring layers for changing weather and rain gear if necessary.
- Bring a personal water bottle and sunscreen.
- No experience necessary. Training and tools will be provided. Fulfills community service requirements.