At the northeast corner of San Francisco’s Fort Mason is an area called “Black Point”—so named for the native black oaks that once lived among the sand dunes which formerly carpeted this storied tranche of land.
It was first utilized seasonally by the indigenous Ohlone people, then appropriated consecutively by the Spanish, Mexicans, and finally the United States. The just over one-acre property had been abandoned, littered with trash, and fenced off for 50 years.
Black Point Historic Gardens Restoration
But today, thanks to the Parks Conservancy and Golden Gate National Parks Service, and aided by the tireless dedication of volunteer gardeners led by Shelagh Fritz and Natalie Korengold, Black Point Historic Gardens is welcoming visitors for the first time in 50 years. These garden-goers will be treated to jaunty, colorful wildflowers and native grasses dancing in the wind along pathways through terraced gardens and a spectacular view of the Bay Bridge, downtown, and ferries gliding across the Bay to Alcatraz with its lush gardens—often referred to as the sister garden of Black Point Gardens. Both children were parented by the National Parks Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. And to bring this full circle, the Garden Conservancy partnered with these two groups to restore the Gardens of Alcatraz.
By Margot Shaw