POLL: The Public Wants Prouty

The Boston Business Journal recently conducted an informal web poll asking the public, "Do you think Boston Children's should be able to build a new clinical building on top of the beloved Prouty Garden?" The results were overwhelmingly in Prouty Garden's favor with 84 percent of respondents saying, "No. The garden is a sacred space and there are places for Children's to build."

There are indeed a number of other viable options that Children's has seriously considered and abandoned for unknown reasons. We hope to explore some of those options with you in the weeks ahead. For now, we find ourselves ruminating on the idea of "sacred ground."

What makes the Prouty Garden sacrosanct?

regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with.

We think the Garden is sacred ground due to the therapeutic and psychological value it provides to patients as they go through lengthy and arduous treatments – often with the looming threat of death or permanent impairment hanging over them.

The children who have passed away in the garden and the children whose ashes are scattered there are part of what makes the garden sacred, but moreover it is the decades of children and their families who have entered the garden to find hope and peace that couldn’t be found inside any hospital building. It is the decades of hospital staff members who have entered the garden to restore their emotional courage, or to shore up their resolve to not given in to feelings of helplessness or despair when their patients stumble, or lose their battles.

These are what make the Garden sacrosanct, too important and valuable to be interfered with. One does not need to experience this firsthand in order to understand the Prouty Garden's value. That is what this poll reflects - the will of the community. And that is what we so desperately wish the Children's administration would respect.