Connecticut Audbon Society
Deer Pond Farm

Deer Pond Farm

Master Naturalist volunteers, Diane and Jim by Deirdra Wallin.

Volunteer at Deer Pond Farm

No matter what your interests or talents, by volunteering at our Deer Pond Farm, you can help promote understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of our natural world.

We have a variety of opportunities available, including office and outdoor help, which are needed to keep the Deer Pond Farm going. This includes serving as co-leaders for programs, citizen science projects, administrative work, trail and garden work, and other tasks both indoor and outdoor.

Program Co-leaders: Assist with guided walks by taking attendance and recording data on the bird checklist. Or work with staff on a specific program utilizing your expertise and experience.

Citizen Science: We currently monitor Bluebird nesting boxes, Wood Duck nesting boxes and Purple Martin gourds.  We also participate in a variety of bird monitoring programs including the Connecticut Bird Atlas, the Summer Bird Count, and the Christmas Bird Count.

Administrative Help: Assist with a variety of clerical work including: answering phones, copying, packet assembly, data entry, event support, and  publicity support.

Garden Gaggle: Join the group or work independently on maintenance and monitoring. We work while we chat, observe and learn. Maintenance includes: weeding, watering, planting, invasive plant removal and more.

Habitat Helpers: Enjoy the camaraderie of collective action to improve our sanctuary. Currently, our focus is invasive plant identification and management. Join us on seasonally scheduled work parties to address this major threat to native biodiversity and learn what you can do at home. 

Photography: As you enjoy the trails during a guided walk or on your own, take pictures and share with us to utilize on the website, social media and flyers.

Trail Monitoring and Work: Explore the trails and report back to staff your findings. Opportunity to assist with trail maintenance.

We will provide instruction and information, including a training; you just need to bring a willingness to learn and a cheerful smile!

Please note, we do welcome service and group volunteer projects, including but not limited to scouts, students and corporations.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or doing a service project, please contact Deirdra Wallin, center manager, at or 860-799-4074 ext 134.

Click here to download our volunteer application. Completed applications can be emailed to

Volunteer Trainings via Zoom

All current volunteers are invited to join Deer Pond Farm staff for these trainings. These trainings are designed for all volunteers to educate volunteers on specific volunteer opportunities as well as the concepts behind them. You do not need to be currently volunteering for a specific group to attend. Volunteers will gain an increased understanding of the work we do at Deer Pond Farm and why. To register, please contact Deirdra Wallin, center manager at

Not a current volunteer? Click here for more information on volunteer opportunities and the volunteer application.

Data Collection
Monday, March 22, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Join our conservation biologist Jim Arrigoni to learn about data collection – why it is important, how to do it and what opportunities exist at Deer Pond Farm. This will include information on eBird, CT Bird Atlas, and the NY Bird Atlas.

Nest Box Monitoring
Monday, March 29, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Join our habitat steward Stefan Martin to learn about nest box monitoring – why nest boxes are important, appropriate protocol, including the use of Nest Watch and which species of birds have nest boxes at Deer Pond Farm.

Garden Gaggle & Habitat Helpers
Monday, April 26, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Join our conservation biologist Jim Arrigoni and our habitat steward Stefan Martin to learn about habitat enhancement volunteer opportunities. They will share and explain the value of opportunities including maintaining and monitoring our Bird & Pollinator Garden, identifying and removing invasive plants, and other projects such as seed collecting which support the conservation work at Deer Pond Farm.

Trail Monitors & Co-Leaders
Monday, May 3, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Join our conservation biologist Jim Arrigoni and our center manager Deirdra Wallin to learn how you can support our trail system and our guided programs for public usage. They will share applicable protocols and forms utilized.

Volunteer Appreciation

Tricia GregoryDave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award

Tricia has traveled the world in pursuit of studying and appreciating nature. She’s been to Antarctica, Alaska and Iceland (if you see a theme, her favorite bird is the Atlantic Puffin). But it is the Connecticut Audubon Society sanctuary near where she lives where she returns to again and again.

It was through a 2017 newspaper article that Tricia learned of Deer Pond Farm sanctuary in Sherman. We met her when she joined the group on a guided program, and before long was co-leading hikes.

In just three years, Tricia has logged over 250 hours of service and taken on a variety of volunteer roles such as trail monitoring, pollinator garden work and assisting with habitat enhancement projects. She’s also the head volunteer monitor of the new Purple Martin nest gourd system at Deer Pond Farm.

“I love nature,” she told us. “It’s always changing and there is always something new to learn.”

She uses volunteer opportunities to increase her understanding of nature, and then often reads up on subjects on her own and shares what she has discovered with staff and other volunteers.

Tricia holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology.

Retired now, Tricia told us that “finding the Connecticut Audubon Society through the opening of Deer Pond Farm, I found a way to reconnect with my academic background and beginning career. I missed it. I really enjoy volunteering here and it makes me happy.”

Her indefatigable cheerfulness is an extra bonus, no matter the circumstances of the task or project at hand. Tricia represents a sterling example of how our volunteers help in truly significant ways to further our conservation work.

Tricia is an exemplary volunteer who has grown and evolved with the organization.  

We’ve worked alongside Tricia and are inspired by her keen intellect, thoughtfulness, and curiosity about the natural environment.

In 2019, our Deer Pond Farm volunteer Karen Forbes received the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award. Click here to read her nomination.





In 2018, our Deer Pond Farm volunteer Karen Cowperthwaite’s received the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award. Click here to read her nomination.

Learn more about the award and the recipients.




Volunteer Appreciation Videos:
2018 click here to view
2019 click here to view
2020 click here to view

2019 Summer College Student Volunteers by Deirdra Wallin

Habitat Enhancement Volunteers and staff by Cathy Hagadorn.

Story Time Volunteer by Deirdra Wallin

Connecticut Audubon Society Master Naturalist Volunteers by Deirdra Wallin








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