Exactly two years and 20 legs into the World Wide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa and her crew began a momentous sail up the Potomac river, stopping at Hull Springs Farm to learn about Longwood Universityʻs work in conservation and sustainability.
Dina Leech, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Biology at Longwood University explained, “I can say honestly that the Hōkūleʻa coming to Hull Springs has been one of the highlights of our history here. There is a lot of excitement surrounded by Hōkūleʻa and how we could connect our message with your message of conservation and sustainability.”
Leech explained, “There was a lot of planing that involved, you know, how could we share the Hōkūleʻa with the community but also let them know about the great work thatʻs going on in their own backyard. And so there was a lot of excitement about figuring out how to best share our work with your work.At Hull Springs we host a lot of groups, we bring students. It’s a place thatʻs open to the community and to other institutions as a learning environment and outdoor learning environment.”
For the crew, the time in Hull Springs was spent engaging with local students and community members.
”We decided that it would be fun, for not only for the general public but also the Westmoreland county schools, to not only tour the canoe but also learn more about what we have going on here at Hull Springs.”
Kalā Tanaka, crew member on Hōkūleʻa said, “Today we had different groups, different ages and all of them were very receptive and its interesting because we relate so much, you know we may not have creeks but we are still facing both of us in Hawaiʻi and here in Hull Springs the same issue of shoreline degradation of erosion of how we can restore our wetlands. And I feel that having the kids run through these different stations, I feel that it brought us really closer together and showed us just how much we are a like and not different.”
Leech reflected, “I think there was just a lot of energy a lot of excitement with the Hōkūlea coming and hear these people that want to share the same message of protecting our environment, using our resources more sustainability yea just sharing that vision and making our voices louder.”