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835 Acres Preserved: Dutchess Farm Gifted To Audubon Society

Cathy Hagadorn is program director at Deer Pond Farm in Sherman. The land was donated as a sanctuary to the Connecticut Audubon Society.
Cathy Hagadorn is program director at Deer Pond Farm in Sherman. The land was donated as a sanctuary to the Connecticut Audubon Society. Photo Credit: Contributed
The scarlet tanager is among the forest birds that can be seen and heard at Deer Pond Farm in Sherman.
The scarlet tanager is among the forest birds that can be seen and heard at Deer Pond Farm in Sherman. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Erica Seitz

The estate of Kathryn D. Wriston has given 835 acres of rugged hardwood forest, meadows, and wetlands straddling the border of Connecticut and New York to the Connecticut Audubon Society to be preserved as a sanctuary.

Called Deer Pond Farm, about half the property is in Pawling and the other half in Sherman, Conn.

The bequest gives the Fairfield-based Connecticut Audubon Society a major sanctuary 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.

“The generosity and foresight of Mrs. Wriston can’t be overstated, and we are extremely grateful to be able to conserve this property according to her wishes,” said Nelson North, Connecticut Audubon’s executive director. “This not only ensures that the land will be conserved but it helps us fulfill our mission in a new part of the state.”

Of the 835 acres:

  • 620 acres are upland forest;
  • 125 acres are forested wetlands, and
  • 59 acres are meadow.
About 100 species of birds have been reported at the property during breeding season, including forest birds such as broad-winged hawk and scarlet tanager, marsh birds such as Virginia rail, and birds such as American woodcock, eastern towhee, and chestnut-sided warbler, which nest in young forests or shrubby areas.

Introductory birding tours will be offered there by Cathy Hagadorn, program director. Here are the dates:

  • Thursday, June 8 at 10 a.m.
  • Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 1 at 9 a.m.
  • Thursday, July 6 at 10 a.m.

Reservations are required for all walks, which are free to Connecticut Audubon Society members and $5 for nonmembers.

Click here or call 860-799-4074 Ext. 105 for info.

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