Turtle Pond: C79
Alive in the summer months with dragonflies and damselflies that dance and hover over the surface of the water is Turtle Pond.
Located on the southern edge of the Great Lawn
and directly to the north below the grand panorama from Belvedere Castle at Vista Rock lays this enchanting Central Park habitat.
Though Turtle Pond seems as much a thought out habitat as others in the Park's original design, it wasn't. Inhabiting the space it now occupies along with the Great Lawn was the Croton Reservoir, which was filled in by the Parks Department in the 1930s with the south side adjacent to Belvedere Castle becoming Belvedere Lake. Over the years this more or less undefined environment evolved with the appearance of turtles, fish, dragonflies and other forms of aquatic life. In 1987 it was renamed Turtle Pond.
The original designers,Olmsted and Vaux would have been very pleased with the result. It now conforms completely to their ideal that brings people together with plants and wildlife so they can experience and enjoy nature free of the urban pressure, which enjoin their urban existence.
Turtle Island, located on the western shoreline of Turtle Pond, is a mini habitat with the appropriate plant life and space for turtle breeding and bird nesting.
Lining the shore are aquatic plants including Bulrush, Lizard's Tail, Cattail, Pickerelweed and Turtlehead.
A jetty extends into Turtle Pond from the northwestern bank, which gives visitors a closer view of the island habitat as well as the eastern expanse of the Pond. It is also a perfect vista from which to spot Belvedere Castle
and Vista Rock
towering above to the south.
In the spring daffodils and irises bloom on the shoreline and in the summer visitors will also find coneflowers.