Grafton to place 50-ton turtle sculpture at Lighthouse Park

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GRAFTON. IL – There's a little bit of Dogtown heading to Grafton, Illinois.

“It will be from here to here 15 feet,” says Mary Lillesve, Grafton City Alderman describing the new giant sculpture.  “From here to here 12 and the tail makes it a total of 18 feet from here to here.”

The Grafton grandmother and alderman proposed the idea of the similar Turtle Park next to Lighthouse Park along the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

“My kids lived in Dogtown and kept telling me about the building of Turtle Park and Bob Casilly,” says Lillesve.  “So, to take those ideas of his and spread them, I think he would love this turtle.”

Snapper is the local turtle, along with the frog and catfish to go along with the town`s catfish tournament, will be a four or five-ton addition to the riverfront and Lighthouse Park.

The lighthouse is a beacon and reminder for residents who survived the great flood of 1993.

And what if the Turtle Park river cousin gets flooded when the river runs high?

“This sculpture will stay here through the flood,” says Lillesve.  “Somebody has estimated it will be 50 tons.  We don't expect it to go down the river.”

Groundbreaking for the new giant turtle in Grafton is to be determined by potential spring flooding.

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