“Make Way for Ducklings” sculptor Nancy Schön unveils bronze play sculpture of Myrtle the Turtle in Beacon Hill.

A bronze play sculpture called “Myrtle the Turtle” was unveiled at a refurbished Beacon Hill playground Monday morning. Created by Nancy Schön, who made the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” statues in the Boston Public Garden, the sculpture is the new focal point for the newly renovated Boston Parks tot lot located near the State House.

Funded by the Beacon Hill Garden Club to celebrate its 90th anniversary, the new sculpture is the replica of a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the most endangered sea turtle in the world.

Children in the neighborhood joined volunteer project organizer Miguel Rosales in pulling the sheet covering the sculpture. Within minutes, preschoolers were riding the sea turtle sculpture. Schön, who is renowned for her animal sculptures in public spaces, also decided to take a ride regardless of her 90-plus years.

Nancy Schön hops on her newest sculpture, Myrtle the Sea Turtle!
Sculptor Nancy Schön takes a seat on Myrtle the Turtle!

Barbara Eisenson, a trustee of the New England Aquarium, spoke about the hundreds of hypothermic Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that the Aquarium rehabilitates and releases each year and how the Myrtle the Turtle play sculpture will help children learn about the beauty and importance of sea creatures and the need to protect the ocean.

The sculpture gained its name Myrtle the Turtle because it is located at the Myrtle Street Playground and as a nod to our very own Queen of the Giant Ocean Tank. Myrtle, the Aquarium’s giant 560-pound green sea turtle, has awed, inspired, and educated three generations of Bostonians.

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