Hull Springs is a model of conservation, dedicated to demonstrating the many ways to use low-impact design to enhance and sustain our environment. Through the implementation of good land and water stewardship practices and green design and construction, Hull Springs is an example of reducing human impact on air and water quality, rivers, estuaries, coasts, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
More than 214-acres of wetlands are being restored, enhanced and preserved, improving water quality and wildlife and ecosystem diversity qualifying the property. A mitigation bank including both wetland and stream restoration has been approved, allowing Hull Springs to sell credits to developers and government agencies who are required to offset the disturbance or destruction of nearby ecosystems when building roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
In an effort to assess and inventory the past extent of wetlands on the property, soil and wetland scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) installed monitoring wells to record water table data as part of their research of the hydrology, soil, and biological indicators to determine areas of the farm appropriate for restoration, enhancement or preservation as wetlands. Existing wetlands on the property were also delineated.
Working closely with Hull Springs Farm and VIMS, a consulting firm, blueskies environmental associates, inc., completed a stewardship plan that outlines steps needed to establish a 214-acre wetland mitigation bank. The wetland mitigation bank will carry a permanent conservation easement. Approved by federal and state agencies in 2012, the wetland mitigation bank will result in a combination of restored, enhanced and protected wetlands on Hull Springs Farm, as well as provide educational and research opportunities. The farm is planning to sell mitigation credits on a case-by-case basis and use the funds to operate the facility in accordance with its mission.