Designing with Nature

Through the beauty of its natural setting, the diversity of its wildlife, and the scope and quality of its educational programs, demonstrations and research, Duke Farms inspires people to transform their approach to conservation and to start building a more sustainable future.

  • Bioswales

    Slicing through the parking lot, these landscape elements capture surface runoff water and naturally filter pollution and silt before the runoff enters the watershed.

  • Buffers for Stream Corridors

    Belts of dense vegetation along Duke’s Brook act as biological filters for the stream and as a rich habitat for wildlife.

  • Community Garden

    Garden plots provide people with the opportunity to grow produce that is healthy for their families in a way that is friendly to the environment.

  • Composting

    Duke Farms believes in using compost to add to the health of garden soils and build rich soil texture, or tilth. Composted cow manure and leaves are used to amend the soil in the Community Garden.

  • Constructed Wetlands

    Constructed wetlands clean wastewater from the building, discharging it back into the groundwater.

  • Deer Fence

    An 8-foot high deer fence surrounds nearly 900 acres of property, allowing native plantings to grow and allowing visitors to contrast areas with an overabundance of deer with areas that have a controlled population.

  • Native Plantings and Grasses

    Removing invasive species and replacing them with native plants creates a healthier environment for both people and wildlife. In addition, native areas at Duke Farms require significantly less maintenance. Once established, they require no irrigation or fertilization and are resistant to most pests and diseases.

  • Permeable Paths

    Non-asphalt lanes and paths allow water to filter back into the ground and minimize storm water runoff.

  • Rain Garden

    Rain gardens capture water in low areas where water can soak naturally into the soil. They protect lakes and streams from pollutants and provide habitat for birds, pollinators and beneficial insects.

  • Sub-surface Drip Irrigation

    Treated effluent, or black water, is pumped from the constructed wetlands to the irrigated pollinator meadow. The drip irrigation system delivers treated effluent into the topsoil and root structure.

  • Use of Rainwater

    Rainwater captured from the Farm Barn roof is collected in an underground cistern, filtered, and used in the building for all non-potable needs.

  • Wetland Restoration

    Wetlands filter out impurities in water, provide a buffer for flooding and supporting a diverse population of plants and animals. Duke Farms is restoring and preserving wetlands in the vicinity of the Farm Barn and along the Raritan River.

Lake System Duke Farms Aerial View



Want to make your home more sustainable?

View the STEWARDSHIP ON A SMALLER SCALE resource page and start today!

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