Connecticut Audbon Society
Deer Pond Farm

Deer Pond Farm

Master Naturalist volunteers, Diane and Jim by Deirdra Wallin.

Volunteering 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 Cathy Hagadorn, Director, at or 860-799-4074 ext 104.

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


Volunteer Appreciation

Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award

Deer Pond Farm Recipient:  Board Chair Jeanne Olivier.

Jeanne C. Olivier has been the Board Chair of Deer Pond Farm since its inception in 2017.

The Deer Pond Farm board is currently made up of family and friends of the late Kathryn Dineen and Walter Wriston who gifted the property to CT Audubon.

Jeanne is married to Robert E. Dineen, the brother of Kathy (Dineen) Wriston, and was very aware of the work of Walter and Kathy at Deer Pond Farm and their hope that the property would be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

Jeanne spent her career as an attorney, and is now retired after 40 years of practice as a partner of the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York City.  Her practice was focused primarily on sovereign debt restructuring and project finance and development in Latin America.

In addition to being the Chair of the Deer Pond Farm Board, Jeanne serves on a number of other non-for-profit boards, among them the Tulane University Board of Administrators, the Foreign Policy Association, and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation Board. 

Over the last few years, Jeanne oversaw the renovation of the Wriston’s residential home at Deer Pond Farm. She worked closely with the Deer Pond Farm Director Cathy Hagadorn and Board members to ensure that budgetary considerations were met and that the transformation of a residential building into a nature center was in compliance with applicable commercial and ADA regulations.  The building can now be used for meetings and classes and enjoyed by the public.  

Jeanne and her husband live in nearby Kent, CT and enjoy similar wildlife activity as seen at Deer Pond Farm. They also have a number of other animals, including alpacas, miniature horses, donkeys and goats.

We are so grateful for Jeanne’s leadership and guidance of stewarding this important preserve for all to enjoy for generations to come.

Deer Pond Farm Board of Directors


Tricia Gregory

In 2020, our Deer Pond Farm volunteer Tricia Gregory received the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award. Click here to read her nomination. 






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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