The windmill spins like a mighty king welcoming his beloved soldiers. My team and I rode into Hull after a long day of wrong turns and hissy fits. As we passed by the windmill, which marks the beginning of Hull, I felt my energy renewed and the team pushed forward faster.
The team stayed at the St. Nicholas United Methodist Church with the gracious Will Green.
During the week, my team met with Judeth Van Hamm the president of Sustainable South Shore and a member of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network, the chair of the Hull Sustainable Transportation Committee, the founder and board member of the Hull Land Conservation Trust founder. My team and I were very impressed by all of her positions on the various Hull sustainability projects. Judeth and her husband were very excited to have us over and gave the team a ride and explanation on the type of “cars,” or Local Use Vehicles, Judeth and her husband uses. The carts – which is what they closely relate – are “more than a golf car,” quotes Judeth’s husband. The carts are able to go up to 35 miles an hour and travel for 30 miles all on one charge. And yes, the carts are completely run by electricity and are rechargeable. The couple owned two carts, one for warmer weather and one for the cold.
After her husband gave some members of the team a ride, Judeth explained her vision of JPods. Although the idea is not her own, Judeth is a strong advocate for the construction of a transportation system in Hull that will connect the residents of Hull to each other and to outside communities. Currently, as Judeth explains, the public transportation system in Hull has many aspects that are an inconvenience: the public transportation system does not run on weekends, the system does not travel to certain parts, the rising costs of the transportation system and its dependence on fossil fuels. When Murtaza questioned the JPods’ reliability in an area that is at risk of the rise of sea levels, Judeth had the perfect rebuttal and explained that the JPods will provide disaster relief transportation since the system is not on the ground.
The team met with Richard Miller of Hull Wind Energy who gave us a tour of one of the windmills in Hull and explained its use and costs. He explained that the windmills provide about fifteen percent of Hull’s energy. He also spoke about the ridiculousness of subsidizing the deadly energy industry because it stunts growth of renewable sources of energy. The team was also able to enter the windmill, which is not something that is usually accepted at your local coal or natural gas plant.
Before entering Hull, my team and I were a bit discouraged because Emily, our outreach coordinator, did not have many contacts for the town. We were all questioning the program’s decision on why we were sent to Hull as well as what we should do. We vented our frustration on each other and became very hard to work with. But after learning and meeting all of the people we did, it feels as if the team gained a new sense of hope. It’s as if we learned that a town does not have to have numerous events or environmental groups in order to be aware. I feel as if we learned that every community is unique and powerful in their own ways. Hull is a quite town; the windmills reflect the hum of the town, a hum that requires one to listen closely, yet the hum instantly gives way to the soft spoken power of Hull’s environmental community.