Longwood University has already established several research projects at historic Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County. Now, that environmental research has a new home on the picturesque plantation that abuts the lower Machodoc River, which feeds the Potomac.

On Thursday, Aug. 28, President W. Taylor Reveley IV dedicated the Anne Carter Robins Mallory classroom at Hull Springs Farm. The classroom, made possible by a gift from the Anne Carter Robins and Walter R. Robins Jr. Foundation, is named for Mallory, a devoted Richmond social worker and a great believer in the power of education to transform lives of inner-city children. She died in 2005.

"She thought getting kids educated was the way to solve problems," said John O’Grady, president of the Robins Foundation. "I’m so proud her name is on this building."

The site of several research projects, from studies on coastal aquatic animals to erosion mitigation efforts, Longwood University is investing in the historic 662-acre farm to make it a dynamic place for more and more research. "This is truly one of the great place-based learning opportunities in the country," said Reveley.

A groundbreaking, also on Aug. 28, symbolized the creation of the wetland mitigation bank at Hull Springs Farm. Approximately 26 acres of the farm are being restored to their natural forested wetlands state. Longwood plans to preserve additional wetlands acreage and restore natural stream beds, totaling more than 200 acres, all of which will be preserved through a conservation easement.

In addition to preserving the land, the establishment of the wetlands mitigation bank provides unique research opportunities for Longwood students. Wetlands both act as a natural filter to contaminants and reduce harmful runoff to economically critical bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay, while providing a natural habitat for hundreds of species.

"This is a true gem right here on the river," said Bart Mitchell ’90, president of the Longwood University Foundation, which manages the property. Mitchell said Mary Farley Ames Lee ’38, who donated the farm to Longwood, would be "very pleased with our future plans and with what’s been done so far."

John O'Grady, president and Rita M. Smith, treasurer of the Anne Carter and Walter Robins, Jr. Foundation

John O'Grady, president and Rita M. Smith, treasurer of the Anne Carter and Walter Robins, Jr. Foundation

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