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Serving Time on The Rock

Articles: Serving Time on The Rock

Photo: Shelagh Fritz

[pullquote]The economic downturn led me to prison.[/pullquote]

In 2008, facing unemployment for the second time in my decade of work within the struggling fabric industry, I made a decision to change direction. Knowing a sense of physical involvement and accomplishment was a priority for me, I turned to gardening. Alcatraz was the prison that became my salvation.

I began the Environmental Horticulture program at City College of San Francisco to gain experience needed to become a professional gardener. In my first plant ID class, instructor Charmain Giuliani required a presentation or garden volunteering. Intrigued by a poster calling for volunteers in the Alcatraz gardens, and with Charmain’s encouragement, I looked into it. Just two weeks into my gardening voyage I began work on The Rock. I loved it! I ended up volunteering and doing a class presentation. I’ve been speaking on behalf of the Alcatraz gardens ever since.

The Garden Conservancy, together with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (GGNPC) and the National Park Service, is restoring the Gardens of Alcatraz after...


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