Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gardening in Prison

Do prison gardens teach job skills only, or are there social and emotional benefits from pulling weeds and watering “on the inside”? Georgia Silvera Seamans reflects and gathers some of the research, too.


Alcatraz inmate and gardener Joseph A. Simpson

Photo: Maggie Hallahan

By Georgia Silvera Seamans

I have lived in the San Franciso Bay Area for four years but never visited the island of Alcatraz.  I have postponed such a visit, waiting to take an out of town guest.  It seemed like a trip you would take once and preferably with a tourist.  But I came across a story about the gardens of Alcatraz in Via—the magazine for members of AAA, the American Automotive Association. Here were artichokes, agaves, and roses planted in the early 1900s as well as blackberry bushes and bulbs – some of the 140 plant species that grow on the island—blooming good reasons to visit anytime. The former federal prison, I learned, is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the National Park Service and the Garden Conservancy have partnered to restore plant life on the island.

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Posted by Julie on 07/30 at 12:48 PM
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