NEB’s Wonderful World

On Friday, September 29th, we took a trip down the road to our neighbors and long-time supporters: New England Biolabs (NEB). Our Riverbend headquarters and NEB are just a short drive apart, with The Trustees’ Appleton Farms in between. Once you turn off of Route 1A and onto their quiet entrance road, you enter NEB’s special world.

The slow twists and turns of the drive eventually straighten and open up to a lush vista of plants where sculptures seem to grow like trees among the flowers. The landscaping isn’t just beautiful but designed to be eco-friendly. Native plants abound and drought tolerant plants like sedums replace grass along the walkways. The buildings continue this feast for the eye inside and out. They are filled with art and carry forward the mission of the gardens: green buildings with greenhouses and an impressive water treatment facility.

NEB has created a place that not only takes inspiration from nature, but gives back to it as well. They and their New England Biolabs Foundation also give to a number of nonprofits, including the Ipswich River Watershed Association. Over the years their contributions have helped to build and expand our programs and several of their employees continue to enthusiastically support us with their volunteer time and energy.

On this late September day, we were attending NEB’s Charity Open House, where organizations are invited to come meet with the staff over lunch. For our visit, we brought one of the Greenscape Coalition’s enviroscapes to illustrate one of the ways we speak to and teach kids about the watershed and one of the major threats to the river: stormwater pollution. The model shows how land in a watershed slopes towards rivers, ponds and the ocean. Kids (and adults!) can make it rain with a spray bottle to see how water moving over impervious surfaces like roofs, cement and asphalt collect pollution on the ground and carry it to water. The coffee beans representing dog waste are always a big hit.

Thank you to New England Biolabs for hosting us and for all you do for the watershed. We’re proud to have the support of a business that doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk.