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, program manager, at or 860-799-4074 ext 134.

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


Volunteer Appreciation

Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award

The Deer Pond Farm Sanctuary in Sherman, CT took great pleasure in nominating Karen Forbes for the 2019 Dave Engleman volunteer award.

A neighbor to Deer Pond Farm, Karen joined us on one of our first guided walks in July of 2017. She became a regular attendee, then a member of the Connecticut Audubon Society, and finally a volunteer, attending our first volunteer training in October of 2017.

Karen, a lifelong learner with a love for nature has brought her knowledge and skill set as volunteer supporting our mission and assisting Deer Pond Farm. As the newest sanctuary with many tasks in need of attention, her volunteer efforts totaling over 200 hours have been invaluable. She has trialed the trail maps and suggested hikes; served as a Garden Gaggle member providing maintenance and monitoring to our bird and pollinator garden; a nest box assistant conducting weekly checks and cleaning; and an administrative assistant working on a variety of tasks. She also joins our Habitat Helpers on invasive plant pulls and works with us on events on and off site sharing her knowledge of our organization.

As Karen says, “I am happy to help and pleased to see the growth at Deer Pond Farm – from program development, habitat enhancement, including the certification as a Monarch Waystation and nest box installation, and data collection being shared with eBird and Connecticut Bird Atlas. I really like the friendships I have made and the cooperation between staff and volunteers in addition to the collaboration with different organizations, local and beyond.”

Karen is a recently retired nurse practitioner with a PhD in nursing research and a background that includes being an assistant professor and a clinical nurse specialist. Her love for nature she contributes to her grandmother.

Karen has lived in Sherman since 1983.

Karen enjoys reading, history and more recently mystery. She also has renewed her crewel embroidery hobby and is working on a beautiful wildlife scene with a Belted Kingfisher, a raccoon and a monarch butterfly.

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.




2018 Volunteer Appreciation video, 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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