Connecticut Audbon Society
Deer Pond Farm

Deer Pond Farm

The Story of Deer Pond Farm

Deer Pond Farm: a gift from the late Kathy and Walter Wriston
The generosity and foresight of the Wristons cannot be overstated.  We are extremely grateful to be able to conserve this property forever as open space.

In 2017, the Connecticut Audubon Society received a generous bequest from the estate of Kathryn D. Wriston, of 850 acres of rugged hardwood forest, meadows, and wetlands straddling the state border of Sherman, Connecticut, and Pawling, New York.

Called Deer Pond Farm by the Wristons, the property includes a network of 15 miles of trails. All trails are accessible from the visitor parking lot at 57 Wakeman Hill Road, Sherman, CT.

Private guided programs on the Connecticut trails began in June 2017. In July 2018, the trails of the Connecticut section opened to the public.  The New York trails opened in June 2019.

The sanctuary is now open year-round, seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.

The former Sherman residence of the Wristons now serves as Deer Pond Farm’s office, with a classroom and teaching terrace. Cathy Hagadorn is Deer Pond Farm’s director.

The Wriston bequest gives the Connecticut Audubon Society a major location in the western part of the state, to go along with its centers in Fairfield, Milford, Glastonbury, Pomfret, and Old Lyme. The bequest also includes an endowment to manage the property and conserve it as wildlife habitat.

Deer Pond Farm sits in the highlands along the Connecticut-New York border. About 620 of its 835 acres are upland forest; 125 acres are forested wetlands, and 59 acres are meadow.

Over 150 species of birds have been reported on the property via Species include forest birds, such as Red-shouldered hawk, Common Raven, Scarlet Tanager, and birds such as American Woodcock, Eastern Towhee, and Chestnut-sided Warbler, which nest in young forests or shrubby areas.

Mammals here include bobcat, several bat species, fisher and long-tailed weasel, beaver and black bear. As many as 11 species of snake possibly live on the property. Numerous reptiles and amphibians breed in its 10 plus vernal pools. The Deer Pond Farm reptile list includes spotted salamanders, slimy salamanders, dusky salamanders, and wood frogs.

In the pollinator garden and habitat enhancement planting areas, over 40 species of butterfly have been observed.






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