Friends of Prouty Garden today announced they would not appeal the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s April 19th decision which upheld the Superior Court’s dismissal of their complaint about the state Department of Public Health’s slack regulatory process and its role in Boston Children’s Hospital’s $1 billion expansion project. The decision effectively ends a four-year legal battle to preserve the historic Prouty Garden, which served as a tranquil oasis for ailing children and their families for more than 50 years.
This week, Boston Children's Hospital unveiled its new rooftop garden. The space contains a small patch of grass, paved walkways, tables and chairs, and some potted plants. It may be a nice space, but it lacks nearly everything a therapeutic healing garden should contain.
This afternoon, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders will hear arguments on two closely-related motions filed by the Ten Taxpayer Group comprising Friends of the Prouty Garden in its pending lawsuit against Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and state public health officials. With the parties’ legal briefs already on file with the court, this will essentially be the hearing on the merits of the Prouty Garden court case.
In addition to violating Condition 8 of the DoN, the lawsuit alleges that the hospital began construction activities associated with the new tower without written approval from DPH of preliminary and final architectural plans, as required by state law, and that BCH failed to implement a plan for communicating the status of the expansion project to community groups, as required by another DoN condition.
The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital was such a treasure and during the week of this year’s Earth Day, it provided a fragmentary piece of evidence testifying to its deep value. The tree, symbolically, and perhaps in a true and real spiritual sense, drew in the worst of those fears and the deepest of despair and gave back hope and confirmation that there is more to our existence than just our physiological well-being. Love, courage, faith, compassion, hope, patience, endurance and a myriad of other qualities play a far greater role in determining whether we live a “good life” or not. The Prouty Garden was a place where one could go to confirm that truth every day.