At a Glance

Water master plan minimizes demand for water while maintaining and restoring the original character of an important historic and cultural resource.

Project Description

The former estate of Alfred I. du Pont, the Nemours Mansion and Gardens include an arboretum, woodlands, meadows, and over 225 acres of gardens designed to complement French domestic architecture of the eighteenth century. This important historic and cultural resource provides an excellent example of the Beaux-Arts movement in American landscape architecture.

Sustainable land and water planning have become an important focus for the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. New approaches are being devised for the next century of stewardship of this important cultural asset. Existing facilities are being restored and repaired with the goal of minimizing water demand while maintaining and restoring the original character of the gardens in mind. During the development of a Master Action Plan which identified areas in the gardens that required immediate attention, it became apparent that a comprehensive water management plan was needed.

Biohabitats, working in collaboration with Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects and the Nemours Foundation team, developed a Water Master Plan which addressed issues associated with stormwater, water use in reflecting pools, pond habitat, pond edge restoration, water demand, and overall seasonal irrigation demand.

To minimize demand for municipal potable water, Biohabitats developed additional on-site water supplies from well water, stormwater harvest, groundwater recharge, and use of reclaimed water from the adjacent Children’s Hospital.

This collaborative venture fused landscape architecture, planning, ecological engineering, and cultural resource management in a dynamic and progressive fashion.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


Nemours Mansion & Gardens


Wilmington, Delaware, United States