In August 2019 Nalgene established the Nalgene Water Fund committed to raising awareness that equitable access to clean water is a domestic issue, not just an issue that impacts “third-world” countries. For its first donation, in late 2020, Nalgene Outdoor selected the McKenzie Patrice Croom Water Lab, more commonly referred to as the “Flint Community Lab,” a creation between the Flint Development Center and non-profit Freshwater Future. The Flint Community Lab is a first-of-its-kind, community-built and operated lab that will, over the course of three years, provide free water testing to all households in Flint, Michigan, a community still reeling from its 2014 water crisis.
Thermo Fisher Scientific and Nalgene Outdoor donated nearly $650,000 to the Flint Community Lab in state-of-the-art laboratory instruments, critical funding and reusable bottles used for both water sample collection and continued use at home. This donation includes a total of 21,000 Nalgene bottles over the three years to be used to collect and test water; and then refill and reuse once the drinking water is determined safe.
The Lab’s guiding principle is for the community, by the community. High school and college students take a multi-generational approach to go door-to-door to collect water samples from homes that are then tested in the Lab. The Lab even has a viewing area for Flint residents to watch the testing!
With summer — and a new crop of interns — joining the Lab, Nalgene recently delivered 1,500 more bottles to the Flint Community Lab to aid in the Lab’s commitment to meet or exceed 500 sample collections per month.