Connecticut Audbon Society
Deer Pond Farm

Deer Pond Farm

Habitat Enhancement Projects at Deer Pond Farm

Songbird Habitat: Lady Bird Trail Plantings

Jim Arrigoni, conservation biologist, Stefan Martin, habitat steward with volunteers by Deirdra Wallin

Along the Lady Bird Trail, we removed invasive shrubs and replaced them with a suite of native shrubs to support autumn-migrating songbirds. These native shrub species possess autumn-ripening fruits that have complementary fat, carbohydrate, and energy contents to meet the refueling needs for these birds during their autumn migration. In addition, we expanded an existing small patch of Eastern White Pine trees with plantings of Eastern Red Cedars to provide safe overnight cover for roosting birds in all seasons.

The following plants were installed: nine Arrowwood Viburnums (Viburnum dentatum), six Silky Dogwoods (Swida amomum), six Red-Osier Dogwoods (Swida sericea), six Gray Dogwoods (Swida racemosa), and three Eastern Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana).

The project site is easily accessible to sanctuary visitors and serves as a demonstration site for specific habitat enhancement techniques as well as a popular stop for birdwatchers and a point of interest during our guided hikes and nature walk programs. This area shows visitors how they can also enhance their backyard habitats.

This project has been made possible in part through a Connecticut Ornithological Association grant awarded in 2020.

Habitat enhancement in progress: how we overcame insect damage by creating pockets full of 1000+ plants

Jim Arrigoni, CT Audubon conservation biologist with Earth Tones Native Plants Owners & Staff by Deirdra Wallin

In 2019, two environmental grants were awarded to Deer Pond Farm to enhance birding habitat along the Cathedral Trail loop. The funding was for the purchase, and planting of meadow wildflowers, shrubs and small trees to increase diversity and abundance of birds and other wildlife.

This three-acre site was chosen due to a grove of 75+ dead and dying white ash trees that succumbed to an invasive insect, the emerald ash borer.

A $10,000 matching grant from the Hollis Declan Leverett Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee got the ball rolling with the habitat restoration planning and planting. This fund also covered the development and installation of permanent interpretive signs. These signs highlight ecological attributes of the area and educate visitors about how they can also improve habitat for birds and other wildlife.

The habitat enhancement area is at a spot where several trails converge, making it easily accessible to visitors and a top destination for hikers and birdwatchers. This project compliments other site work at Deer Pond Farm including a pollinator garden, food plots and invasive plant species management.

“This project represents an amazing opportunity to attract desirable birdlife, return native vegetation to the site, and to engage our visitors,” said Cathy Hagadorn, Director of Deer Pond Farm. “We are honored to have Hollis Declan Leverett Memorial Fund as our partner to improve native bird habitats in western Connecticut.”

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation bolstered the project with a $13,000 matching grant. “The Schumann Foundation’s partnership is a true endorsement of our efforts to create a top birding destination in Connecticut,” said Cathy Hagadorn, Director of Deer Pond Farm. “By enhancing the habitat value for birds within the area, this project will provide improved food and shelter access for year-round birds and increase abundance and diversity of overwintering and migratory bird species.”

Earth Tones Native Plants from Woodbury designed, installed, and provided nearly 200 shrubs and trees, just over 850 perennial wildflower plugs representing a total of nearly 60 plant species.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats.

Hollis Declan Leverett Memorial Fund is named in honor of Hollis Declan Leverett, an avid birder, who died prematurely as a young adult. The foundation was created by his parents, Hollis M. and Helen E. Leverett, in his memory.

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation was established by Mr. Schumann out of his beliefs that the environment is essential to sustain the future of the planet, that education is essential to solve many quality of life issues for society, and that arts and cultural programs offer society hope and the ability to dream.

Click here for the Cathedral Pines Shrubs and Small Tree Plant List.

Click here for the Cathedral Pines Perennial Wildflower Plant List.

Click here for the News Times, October 18, 2019 article by Katrina Koerting, Sherman’s Deer Pond Farm turns destruction into new habitats.





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