Belvedere Castle is a building in Central Park in New York, New York, that contains exhibit rooms and an observation deck.
The Observatory contains family-friendly displays that demonstrate the process by which naturalists observe their World
and share their scientific discoveries about it. The displays, which include telescopes, microscopes, skeletons and feathers, are designed to expose children to fundamentals of the scientific method in natural observation. Other Observatory exhibits include a plywood tree with papier-mâché reproductions of birds often seen in Central Park, encouraging people to watch for these birds from the precipice of the castle, which has become one of New York's most popular birdwatching sites.
The new castle faced a rectangular receiving reservoir; today, it overlooks the Great Lawn, an oval of turf with eight baseball diamonds, loosely defined by plantings of trees in clumps in the manner of the English landscape garden, and, at the foot of Vista Rock
, the Turtle Pond, redesigned in 1997 as a naturalistic planting, in which no single vantage-point reveals the water's full extent. Sunken concrete shelving at varying depths provide ideal water depths for shoreline plants such as lizard's tail, bullrush, turtlehead, and blueflag iris. The success of habitat for birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles is embodied in sightings of species of dragonfly not previously sighted in Central Park.