At the base of Belvedere Castle lies Turtle Pond, named in honor of the large number of turtles that reside there along with numerous species of birds, fish, frogs, and dragonflies. The first turtles to have made the Pond their home were released in Central Park by their owners in the 1980's; since then, their population has grown. Most common among the species present is the Red-Eared Slider.
The Pond is now all that remains of what was once the Croton Water System, which was converted into the Great Lawn in 1937. A man-made body of water, Turtle Pond was restored by the Central Park Conservancy in 1998, when its shore was planted with trees and shrubs to improve the look and function of the wildlife's natural habitat.
As one of Central Park's designated quiet zones, Turtle Pond provides a relaxing escape from the noisier sections of the Park.
— Jesse M. Wheeler