Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening Announce 2019 Carton 2 Garden™ Contest Winners

Evergreen Packaging®, a global leader in fiber-based packaging solutions, together with KidsGardening, today announced the winners of the annual Carton 2 Garden™ contest. Now in its fifth year, the contest promotes life skills such as creativity, leadership and teamwork by inviting students to work together to build or enhance their school gardens with repurposed milk and juice cartons. A total of $23,000 in prizes is being awarded to 15 schools around the country for their carton garden creations.

The winner categories include a $5,000 grand prize, four $2,000 specialty prizes, and ten $1,000 grade level prizes. The four specialty prize winners are awarded for efforts in these categories: STEM, best incorporation of science, technology, engineering and math learning in their project; Environmental Stewardship, the best demonstration of sustainable practices and environmental awareness in their garden creation; Health and Nutrition Education, the best incorporation of lessons on healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors in their project; and Carton Art in the Garden, the best display of garden-inspired carton art in a garden creation.

“Each year we are amazed and impressed at level of creativity and quality of thinking that these students put into their Carton 2 Garden projects,” said Katie Simmons, marketing director for Evergreen Packaging. “These students from kindergarten to high school embrace not only their individual project, but the benefits of eco-friendly packaging and practices overall. They are truly positive and engaged role models in their schools, neighborhoods and communities.”

The grand prize and specialty prize winners of the contest are as follows:

  • Grand Prize Winner – Southfield School (Shreveport, Louisiana): All students in PreK to 8th grade at Southfield School joined together to create a large vertical garden to expand their existing gardening space and beautify their school grounds. Their new garden wall hosts 528 milk cartons planted with a variety of herbs along with fruits and vegetables and a variety of lettuces. The harvest will be used for student taste tests to promote healthy eating behaviors and for treats for beloved classroom pets. In addition to the edible crops, the new garden also includes flowering plants to bring added beauty and invite pollinators to the area. From start to finish, teachers worked to incorporate STEAM lessons into the project through the planning, designing, and installation of the garden. Students will continue to expand their learning as they care for their garden and engineer ways to irrigate their new plants. To watch a video about their project, entitled “STEAM Vertical Wall”, please click here.
  • STEM Winner – The Country School (Madison, Connecticut): Student engineers at The Country School used their Carton 2 Garden project to solve a real-life garden challenge. Living in Connecticut, they are not able to plant in their school garden until the first week of May, and the greenhouse they relied on to extend their season was damaged in a snow storm. Their creative solution was to build cold frames using milk cartons and recycled greenhouse panels. They even crafted an irrigation system to help keep their young plants watered. To watch a video of the project called “Country School Carton Collaborators Mini-Greenhouse”, please click here.
  • Environmental Stewardship Award Winner – Idlewild Elementary (Memphis, Tennessee): Students used repurposed milk cartons to create two beautiful and functional educational tools for their Monarch butterfly garden, created to serve as a way station for Monarchs on their round-trip journey between Mexico and Canada. One display is a map of the United States showing the path of the Monarchs. The second is a spectacular, larger than life adult Monarch butterfly that will watch over the garden year-round. To watch a video of the project called “Monarch Migration by the Moo-mphis Monarchs”, please click here.
  • Health and Nutrition Education Winner – St. Martin’s Episcopal School (Metairie, Louisiana): The Environmental Science class at St. Martin’s Episcopal School decided to tackle the theme of healthy eating by growing a garden and starting their own fruits and vegetables from seed. Just growing edible crops was not enough for them; however, they wanted to inspire real change in the eating habits of their fellow students. So, they created a series of educational programs for younger students about the importance of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables each day. To watch a video of the project called “Healthy Eating – Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well”, please click here.
  • Carton Art in the Garden Winner – Arnold O. Beckman High School (Irvine, California): Beckman High School paired students in their Self-Contained Moderate to Severe and Autism Specific Special Education classes with students in their Advancement Via Individual Determination program to create a stunning garden that also incorporated cultural awareness by focusing on a design to help celebrate the Chinese New Year. This expansive project also involved students from the school’s Chinese, graphic design, art, photography, video editing, and science classes. To watch a video of the project called “Good Luck Garden”, please click here.

Over 150 entries were judged on specific criteria, including creativity, incorporation of sustainable materials and visual representation. Classroom groups were required to repurpose at least 100 cartons of any size in their creation, including cartons from the school cafeteria or from home. All entries were judged by the education specialists at KidsGardening.

“The Carton 2 Garden Contest is about creativity, leadership, and environmental responsibility all rolled into one,” says Helen Rortvedt, executive director of KidsGardening. “This partnership with Evergreen Packaging allows students from across the country the opportunity to expand their minds through gardening while making a real impact on their communities and their planet.”

Ten additional schools from across the country were recognized for their carton garden creations:

Elementary School Winners (K-5)

  • Magnolia Elementary School, Carlsbad, California – “Magnolia Zoo”
  • Mildred L. Day School, Arundel, Maine – “Vertical Flower and Herb Garden by the 2nd Grade Gardeneers”
  • Mylan Park Elementary, Morgantown, West Virginia – “Going Green: Because We’re “Earth” It!”
  • Truman Price Elementary, Donna, Texas – “Soaring High Over the Rainbow”
  • Valley View Elementary, Polson, Montana – “Montana Winter Garden”

Middle/High School Winners (6-12)

  • De Portola Middle School, San Diego, California – “Lettuce Grow De Portola”
  • Kernan Middle School, Jacksonville, Florida – “Bee Active Campaign”
  • Ocean Township Intermediate School, Ocean Township, New Jersey – “OTIS Adventures – Sustainable Solutions”
  • Rio Del Valle Middle School, Oxnard, California – “Surreal Succulents”
  • Roy Campanella OTC 721K, Brooklyn, New York – “Growing Well Together”

For more information about the Carton 2 Garden contest, and to see other ways Evergreen Packaging is supporting the sustainable packaging movement, please visit www.carton2garden.com.

About Evergreen Packaging®
Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in paper packaging solutions, makes paper and paperboard products from responsibly sourced fiber which are designed to deliver product freshness, brand distinction and supply chain confidence. Our products are manufactured globally in facilities in the US, Asia, Central America and the Middle East/North Africa. Evergreen Packaging is the number one supplier of liquid packaging board in the world. Evergreen Packaging cartons contain protective layers of plastic (including cap and spout). Fiber used in our products comes from forests in the US where responsible forestry practices are used and where overall growth exceeds harvest. www.evergreenpackaging.com

About KidsGardening.org
Gardening changes and improves kids’ lives, their communities, and the planet. KidsGardening has been a leader in the youth gardening movement since launching the Youth Garden Grant in 1982, the first and longest running program of its kind. As a national nonprofit, they inspire and support garden educators, volunteers, and families by offering grants, original educational resources, and by cultivating a community of practice. Garden-based learning improves nutritional attitudes and educational outcomes, enhances social and emotional learning, and gives rise to environmental stewardship in youth across the country. The national nonprofit envisions generations of happier, healthier kids learning in the garden and connecting to nature.