Healing Garden

Healing Garden

Gardens are good for the body, mind, and spirit. The belief that gardens are beneficial for patients in health care environments is more than one thousand years old.

There is evidence that viewing gardens can measurably reduce patient stress and improve health outcomes.  Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest believe that it is important to provide an environment that enhances the patient experience and promotes healing and comfort. All three hospitals have designed gardens that will bring this type of healing to its patients, visitors, and staff.

When Mercy Hospital was constructed on Truxtun Avenue in 1912, it was one of the most attractive in the city from an architectural standpoint. Included in its design were gardens that would form one of the most appealing features of the new building.  One hundred years later, Mercy again offers three distinctly different gardens that provide peaceful and healing environments. All have been designed and constructed by local landscape architect, Dan Monji. All were made possible through philanthropic gifts totaling over $300,000.

The Healing Garden (pictured above) is located adjacent to the main entrance of Mercy Downtown and was funded by Donald and Diane Lake in honor of their daughter, Cathy. This beautiful outdoor garden includes arbors, water features, flowering plants and trees, as well as benches and pathways. Mrs. Lake loves gardens and the peace of mind they can bring, so this was a perfect way for her to honor her daughter and support Mercy Hospital.

The Pavilion Garden, located inside the atrium at Mercy Downtown was renovated with a gift from the Pankey Family. Elizabeth Pankey, the matriarch of the family, also has a love for gardens and the sounds and sights they provide. Because of their gift, this area has been transformed and now offers a spectacular waterfall surrounded by beautiful ferns and flowering plants that provide restful sounds and gorgeous views to patients whose rooms are adjacent to the garden.

The third garden is a “one of a kind” outdoor garden at Mercy Southwest Hospital. This unique garden features a living wall and three living towers, each topped with a tree. When fully mature, the towers and trees will provide a canopy of shade and lush surroundings that will completely transform the space. This unique garden was funded by the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary and the Russell V. Judd Family. Both the auxiliary and the Judd Family wanted to be part of transforming what was once a concrete, sterile space into a work of art that would provide beauty, comfort, and peace to people who may need to escape the worry and stress of their day or simply want to enjoy a restful environment.

The Friends of Mercy Foundation Walking Park is a walking path that is .8 of a mile and was designed to feature drought resistant plants and trees.  All are native to Kern County and our desert like conditions. The use of these plants dramatically reduces the amount of water needed to maintain a beautiful garden. The park provides a place for employees, physicians and patient visitors to walk, rest and enjoy a xeriscape environment.  On April 20, 2016 the Friends of Mercy Foundation was honored by Bakersfield’s Mayor Harvey L. Hall with the Mayor’s Business Beautification Award.  It is thanks to our donors that we are able to fund projects that not only contribute to the well-being of our patients, their families and our employees but also our community.