The Latest on the Slow-Motion Death of Prouty Garden

When last we left the saga of The Inexorable Demolition of Prouty Garden by Boston screen-shot-2016-03-20-at-11-48-53-pmChildren’s Hospital, the beloved green oasis was in limbo, with the hospital planning “to cut down the [garden’s redwood] tree and pull out the garden in preparation for construction of the new building — thumbing its nose at the state and the DoN [Determination of Need] process, which has just begun,” according to Jim McManus of Slowey/McManus Communications, who works with The Friends of Prouty Garden.

But now McManus tells us that it looks like Prouty “will be safe for at least a few months.” He sent along this email from Children’s President and CEO Sandra Fenwick:

To: All Boston Children’s Hospital employees, staff, volunteers and staff
From: Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Date: April 11, 2016
Re: Boston Children’s plans for the Wolbach Building and Prouty Garden

The Department of Public Health (DPH) has provided us with an advisory ruling that we may proceed with certain pre-construction site preparation work without a Determination of Need (DON). This work relates to the preservation, remediation and eventual demolition of the Wolbach building. We anticipate starting this work around the week of April 18, and will continue over the next several months.

As the Wolbach Building is adjacent to the Prouty Garden, portions of this work will impact access to parts of the garden on a temporary basis. The work will include a geotechnical site investigation and a number of borings that will be conducted in phases. While at times this work will require temporary, partial closing of areas of the garden in order to ensure the safety of our patients, families and staff, our intent is to keep the garden open and available to all throughout this process. In cases where the garden is partially closed, work areas will be fenced off and the remainder of the garden will still be available for use by the Boston Children’s community. Following each of these phases, any damage to the garden will be repaired.​

Throughout this work, we will keep you updated regularly, posting the times of the partial closings on Boston Children’s Today and the Transforming Tomorrow landing page. Thank you for your patience and support during this work, which is so critical to Boston Children’s ability to meet the demand for our care by increasing our capacity to heal.

McManus adds, “We disagree with Fenwick’s view that the DPH has approved preliminary construction work, but at least support for the Garden has impressed on the hospital that this is worth preserving as long as possible. More to come…”

We have no doubt.

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