The Many Health Benefits of Trees

On the heels of Boston Children's Hospital's destruction of the Prouty Garden, including the monumental loss of the historic and healing Dawn Redwood tree, U.S. News and World Report publishes a story entitled "The Many Health Benefits of Trees." You can read the full story here, but some of the important highlights include:

Trees ease depression and stress. In the Harvard study, mental health was likely the key factor tying vegetation density to lower death risk, James says. Green environments tend to boost physical activity and social connection and dampen depression. That, plus nature's known stress-reduction effects, lead to better physical health. "We've already shown through other research that vegetation can help mitigate the effects of climate change," he says. "These findings suggest there's a co-benefit of vegetation to improve health." 

Tree loss hurts health. "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," Joni Mitchell sang in "Big Yellow Taxi," as she mourned the sacrifice of trees to build parking lots. Tree loss isn't always man-made. A forest-infesting pest called the emerald ash borer is wreaking ongoing havoc in wooded areas. The spread of the tree-killing beetle gave U.S. Forest Service scientists and others the opportunity for a "natural experiment" to show the effect of environmental changes on public health. In the 15-state area and 17-year period covered, more than 15,000 additional deaths from cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke occurred. The study, published in 2015 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also found more than 6,000 additional deaths related to lower-respiratory disease. Wealthier counties showed the most serious health effects from emerald ash borer infestations, which continue to spread in the U.S.


We hope the hospital sees this and pledges to restore Prouty Garden with a new Dawn Redwood and more trees and greenery. If not, perhaps U.S. News and World Report will consider the hospital's actions to remove a large, life-giving and life-affirming tree when it compiles its next Best Children's Hospitals rankings list. 

OUR FIGHT TO SAVE PROUTY CONTINUES. We still have two active lawsuits and are focused now on getting the court to recognize the travesty that BCH has wrought. Now, after the garden has been violated and situation seems hopeless and wretched, is the very time for friends of Prouty Garden to stand as tall as possible. We have worked too hard and sacrificed too much to stop now. 

Please keep the faith and remain steadfast in your commitment to preserve the garden, so next spring we can stand back together and watch BCH restore the garden fully, including a new, grown Dawn Redwood tree.

Consider donating today at:

The Dawn Redwood is carted away from the Prouty Garden. December 3, 2016

The Dawn Redwood is carted away from the Prouty Garden. December 3, 2016