Best of 2001: Best Garden For Sick Children

Carley's Magical Garden/Oncology
Gardens, Children's Hospital

3020 Children's Way, Kearny Mesa

Carley died of leukemia when she was three. Her parents wanted to do something in her memory. They came up with a garden complex that children and their parents can play in and see through the windows from their beds. The gardens feature a winding, raised river you can float leaves down, animal islands, and butterflies whose wings provide shade. Kids can take a CD with them as they walk through the three gardens: the main, the buggy, and the friendship garden. The CD tells the story of Carley and her friend Francisco, the things they like, and the journey they take. "It just provides relief from the tensions and the hospital atmosphere," says Pam McKain, the ward's social worker. " I almost think the adults love it most. It's a good place for them to go, take a deep breath, and gather themselves together."

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