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Signs, tarp now ward kids away from blazing-hot metal turtle in Beacon Hill playground until a shade structure can be installed

With Myrtle the Turtle now temporarily clothed in a blue tarp, the Boston Parks Department reports it is has asked an outside design firm to design a more permanent shady thing to keep the statue from becoming a kid-burning heat trap again.

Parents began complaining last week that the new turtle - which the Beacon Hill Garden Club paid "Make Way for Ducklings" sculptor Nancy Schon to create - was getting so hot in the sun it was burning the kids it was designed for.

The department today officially closed 311 complaints about the unfortunate effect of putting a metal sculpture in the middle of the playground with no shade with this note:

The Parks Dept. appreciates your concern regarding the new turtle feature. We have placed temporary signage in the park warning of the dangers of hot equipment in sunlight and plan on placing permanent signage. Because of the level of concern expressed by playground users, we have one of our playground design firms currently designing a shade structure for the turtle. A temporary covering is being placed over the turtle until the permanent improvements can be put in place. If you have any questions, please contact our Design and Construction Division.

Free tagging: 


Not the scrawny little young ones but spend a few bucks and transplant a couple two or three year old trees.

I'm assuming that proper committees would of course need to be formed to study the surrounding area and much public debate will be required as to which type of trees are ultimately chosen.

This of course will be finished by 2023


This isn't one of your West Roxbury or Roslindale parks with tons of room - it's a pretty small space.


There are columnal trees that work well in small urban parks.

c'mon, work with me here adam

But moving Myrtle to it might move it away from easy viewing from the street, and well, remembering how long and hard Beacon Hillions fought against the wrong kind of handicap sidewalk ramps, you know how well that would go over.

I remember coming across the so called "killer domes" in Brooklyn Bridge park, subsequently removed by the city. Park Domes Fenced Off to Protect Children Followed by the enviable law suit suit extracting $17,500 from NYC coffers.

They even had shade trees near by. Just give them another 15 years.

Enviable? Have you priced US emergency healthcare prices lately? That would barely cover the ambulance rides alone for like, two kids.

The McDonald's hot coffee lawyers really did a number on this country, didn't they? Suing for reimbursement of medical expenses is just how our insurance system works. Nobody's getting life-threatening 3rd-degree burns and extensive skin grafts to their genitals for funzies.

I mean maybe if you're that guy from INXS and that's like, your thing. But in general, no.

Another reason to have more trees!

that are intended for young children to play on in direct sunlight.

Can we call it a shell-ter? Or possibly a shelter-tle?

Before I blaze your babes.


by a pile of colorful broken glass surrounded by a glorious ring of fire.There will, of course, be a sign telling kids not to touch it.

My family uses this playground, so I called the city about this. I was told that a shade structure or canopy was being considered that will be high enough so kids can’t climb it. This will create additional dangers. Kids and inebriated college students will try to climb anything. Higher and more challenging means more fun. Icicles destroy cars around here. Imagine snow, ice or an icicle falling from the shade structure onto a toddler in the playground. The results could be devastating, especially if the structure is high like the city says it would be. If it is high, it would have to be big to properly shade the turtle sculpture. The playground is a tiny urban lot surrounded by tall buildings on 3 sides and across a narrow, one-way street from a tall building on the 4th side. The buildings cast shade on the playground except where the city put the turtle sculpture. More shade will block the only sunshine at the playground. The turtle is about 4 feet long and in the middle of the playground. Now there is talk about installing a shade structure and shrubs around it. Most families in BH don’t have outdoor space. This is the only playground in BH for babies and toddlers. Daycares and preschools use the playground every day because they don’t have outside space either. We’d rather have the turtle sculpture removed than keep the art and give up even more of the playground for a shade structure and shrubs. We need every inch of that small area to be usable as a playground.