The winner categories include a $5,000 grand prize, four $2,000 specialty prizes, and ten $1,000 grade level prizes


Evergreen Packaging uses sustainable practices to make paper, paperboard and cartons. (Credit: Juan Francia from Pixabay.)

Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in fiber-based packaging solutions, together with KidsGardening, a national nonprofit creating opportunities for kids to garden, announced the winners of the 2020 Carton 2 Garden contest. 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. Prizes valued at $23,000 are 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.

The Carton 2 Garden student competitions started in 2015. Participants have come from 46 different states. Since its launch, nearly 1,000 project entries have been judged and more than 76,000 students have participated. The result is that nearly 392,000 cartons have been repurposed.

“This year, like each of the five prior years, the students across the country demonstrated remarkable levels of creativity and thinking for their projects,” said Katie Simmons, marketing director for Evergreen Packaging. “Whether they are kindergarten students working on perhaps their first group projects as students or high school students with years of project experience, they each embrace the ideas of eco-friendly packaging and practices, and the impact on their environment. These children and young adults are role models for environmental stewardship in their communities, neighborhoods and schools.”

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

Grand Prize Winner – Thomaston Grammar School (Thomaston, ME): To watch a video of the project, click here.

STEM Winner – New Mountain Hill Elementary (Fortson, GA): To watch a video of this project, called “The Hive,” click here.

Environmental Stewardship Award Winner – Lucy T. Davis Elementary School (Florence, SC): To watch a video of this project, called “The Buzz about Bees,” click here.

Health and Nutrition Education Winner – Virgil Mills Elementary (Ellenton, FL): To watch a video of the project, click here.

Carton Art in the Garden Winner – Dunham Elementary School (Petaluma, CA): To watch a video of this project, called “Pollinator Power,” click here.

Each entry is 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 truth is, it was a difficult year for teachers and students alike and we weren’t sure whether many schools would be able to participate in this contest,” says Em Shipman, executive director of KidsGardening. “But we saw folks come through in a way unlike ever before. The ingenuity and passion these teams put into their projects was astounding. Participating in Carton 2 Garden allowed them to be a part of a meaningful community-focused project at a time when we’re all feeling a bit off-balance and distant.”

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

Source: Company Press Release