What is new at Hull Springs...
Strategic Planning for the future! Hull Springs: Relationship to Longwood's Educational Commitment
This is the Final Report from the Hull Springs Strategic Planning Task Force which met during 2011.
To download the Final Report (25 MB), click here: FINAL REPORT
To download the Cover (less than 1 MB), click here: COVER
Hull Springs Farm featured in "A Sustainable Chesapeake" Book
A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation provides an important conservation resource for individuals, organizations, governments and businesses across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This new book profiles promising conservation practices and technologies and describes the protection of critical land and water resources. The work at Hull Springs Farm is one of 31 case studies that feature the work of government and private organizations and conservation leaders throughout the Bay watershed. The book was developed by David Burke, an experienced conservation planner (and long time partner of HSF), and Joel Dunn, Program Coordinator of The Conservation Fund’s Sustainable Chesapeake initiative. Download your copy of A Sustainable Chesapeake here. For just the chapter about Hull Springs Farm, click here.
Research Grant Awarded to Longwood Professor by Virginia's Coastal Zone Management Program
The innovative shoreline erosion control project at Longwood University’s Hull Springs Farm has been receiving increasing interest, and was recently awarded a research grant from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (part of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality).
The grant will allow Mark Fink, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, and five undergraduate students to analyze hundreds of water samples that were collected at Hull Springs Farm, identifying specimens, determining species composition and abundance, and studying associated abiotic (nonliving) variables. In addition, the researchers will conduct cold-weather monitoring, and purchase much-needed sampling equipment.
“Our students have used several different methods including throw trapping, seining, and core sampling to collect more than 330 samples. The animals in each sample are then identified by specie, and enumerated,” said Dr. Fink. He continued, “it is important that the impacts of shoreline structures are better understood. Increasingly, shoreline management is taking an integrated approach, incorporating subtidal habitat, shoreline conditions, and land use. This research will assist those making policy decisions throughout Virginia’s coastal zone, plus give Longwood students real-world research skills and experience.”
Hull Springs Farm, a 662-acre property located in Westmoreland County, between two tidal tributaries to the Potomac River has richly diverse habitats including 8000 feet of shoreline, forested stream banks, a beaver pond, vernal pools, tidal streams, working agricultural fields, a loblolly pine forest, and mixed pine/hardwood tracks in various stages of succession. In 2007 and 2008, Hull Springs Farm installed a shoreline erosion control project using environmentally-friendly living shorelines techniques. A low wall of rocks (sill) was installed in shallow waters to absorb wave energy and an 8,000 square foot tidal fringe marsh was planted between the sill and the bank. The project used proven strategies and experimental technologies to protect the bank and enhance shoreline habitat. Dr. Fink’s research is part of a six-year plan to monitor the impact of this erosion-control structure on the shoreline, plants and animals.
Data from this research will be compared with future data, as well as the baseline data that were collected prior to the marsh and sill installation. Longwood University undergraduates participating in this research are Patricia Clary, Kaitlyn Nickell, Collin Riley, Alexander Dalton and Matthew Walker.
“There is an urgent need for valid scientific research on the impacts that living shoreline techniques have on the diversity and abundance of shoreline communities,” said Katie Register, program manager for Hull Springs Farm and Executive Director of Clean Virginia Waterways. “We are proud that Longwood University has become a leader in this area, and are thankful for the support from our program partners.” Invaluable support for this living shorelines demonstration project has come from Longwood University Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of the College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District, Northern Neck Planning District Commission, David Burke of Burke Environmental Associates, Clean Virginia Waterways, and community volunteers. The project has received substantial financial support from two NOAA grants.
This research project was funded in part by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant #NA07NOS4190178 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.
The Living Shorelines project at Hull Springs Farm project has already been validated by the following sources:
- Earth Resources, Inc. of Lancaster County, the contractor for the project, won the 2008 Ecological Excellence Award from the Virginia Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as well as the 2009 Sustainable Development Award from the Tidewater Resource Conservation and Development Council, for construction of the Hull Springs Farm project.
- The Project was reviewed in a 2007 publication by the National Research Council of the National Academies entitled: Mitigating Shore Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts.
- A case study of the project was presented at the 2006 Virginia/Maryland Living Shorelines Summit.
- A case study featuring Hull Springs Farm's transition to a model of sustainability and conservation will be in a book to be published in 2010.
Another Conservation Award for Hull Springs Farm Project
Longwood University’s Hull Springs Farm “Living Shorelines” project has won a second award for its environmentally-friendly approach to protecting an eroding shoreline.
The Sustainable Development Award was presented to Earth Resources, Inc, the contractor who installed a new fringe marsh on the shoreline of Hull Springs Farm. The award was from the Tidewater Resource Conservation and Development Council, and was presented at their annual meeting in July 2009.
Earth Resources constructed a toe revetment in 2007 and in July of 2008 completed the project with the installation of a sill (a low-elevation, shore-parallel stone structure installed channelward) and a fringe marsh. The project was designed as a research tool as well as bank protection and habitat enhancement incorporating both a window and a weir in the sill to permit the movement of animals during the changing tides. This project will be a demonstration site so other property owners, government researchers/scientists and wetland board members can learn about the environmentally-friendly techniques used in Living Shorelines, and help protect Virginia’s shorelines.
“Earth Resources is professional, knowledgeable and does superb work,” said Hull Springs Farm’s executive director Bobbie Burton. “They did an outstanding job, and we would recommend them to anyone considering an environmentally-sound marine construction project.”
In the month prior to winning the award, shoreline experts from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (of the College of William and Mary) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) visited the site and were exceedingly pleased with the accuracy of the installation and the related success of the vegetation in a relatively short period of time. They were highly complementary of the technical expertise that was applied by Earth Resources, Inc. The project was made possible thanks to two grants from NOAA through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This research and educational project involved the expertise of many partners, including Longwood University, VIMS, NOAA, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District, Northern Neck Planning District Commission, Burke Environmental Associates LLC, Clean Virginia Waterways, and community volunteers.
Learn more about Hull Springs Farm and its Shoreline Erosion Control/ Living Shorelines project.
To learn about future volunteer events at Hull Springs Farm, or to visit the Living Shorelines project at Hull Springs Farm, please send an email to email@example.com or call 804.472.2621