2018 Carton 2 Garden Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Carton 2 Garden Contest Winners! The entries were truly inspirational and we want to thank every program that participated.

To enter the contest, students and educators designed projects re-purposing milk and juice cartons to build and enhance their school garden while engaging in hands-on experiences and creating teachable moments focusing on environmental stewardship, sustainable packaging, and healthy living.  For the 2018 contest, awards included:

  • 1 Grand Prize award package valued at $5,000
  • 3 Specialty Prizes for STEM, Sustainability, and Health & Nutrition Education. Specialty Prize award package valued at $2,500 each.
  • 5 Elementary Prizes and 5 Middle/High School Prizes. Grade Level Prize award package valued at $1,000 each.

The 2018 winning programs included:

Grand Prize

Follow the Pollinators to Our Garden!
Johnsburg High School, Johnsburg, IL
Through the use of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities, students at Johnsburg High School organized a community wide campaign to spread the message that native bees are important and need our help. Their project included creating a “Bee a Pollinator Pal” booth at a local expo to encourage community members to build bee houses and plant more native plants, hosting a coloring contest for elementary school students, developing an informational mural and planting native grass and flower plant seeds in containers for a future plant sale.  Students also engaged in service projects with their local food pantry in recognition of the important role pollinators play in sustaining our food supply.

STEM Winner

STEM Sustainable Healthy Gardening
Sequoia Union Elementary Ag Charter School, Exeter, CA
Students at Sequoia Union Elementary school completed 10 different STEM related projects using re-purposed milk cartons.  Creatively integrated across the curriculum, the activities supported hands-on learning opportunities about sustainable farming practices.  Students learned how to collaborate, investigate, problem solve, design, redesign, and create, create, create using re-purposed cartons!

Sustainability Winner

The Recycled Pollinator Hotel
Sand Point Elementary, Seattle, WA
The students at Sand Point Elementary built a pollinator hotel with spaces designed for a variety of pollinators to seek shelter, nest, and reproduce. Through this project, students learned how living things are connected and the important role of pollinators in food production. 

Health and Nutrition Winner

Climbing Our Way to Success
Webb Street School, Gastonia, NC
Incorporating cartons into many different gardening and composting projects, the special needs students at Webb Street School engineered and constructed a Youth Farm Stand to sell their plants and vegetables to community members.  Their Carton 2 Garden project allowed them to practice important life skills including teamwork while also learning more about their food systems from seed to table.

Elementary School Winners

Hawaiian Hobbit Hale
Aina Haina Elementary School, Honolulu, HI
Inspired during a STEM night focused on inventions, students sought to make improvements to their school’s wonder garden. After much brainstorming, they decided to build a “hale”, a small home or house. Using vertical gardening techniques and plants well adapted for their environment, they designed and built a creative and an innovative Hawaiian Hobbit Hale.

Courtyard Mural
Whit Davis Elementary School, Athens, GA
With the support of many community partners, the pre-k students at Whit Davis Elementary created a whimsical, vertical wall garden to grow vegetable and herb plants like lettuce, basil and cilantro.

Super Sensational Sensory Garden
Goessel Elementary School, Goessel, KS
Students in all grade levels at Goessel Elementary helped create a sensory garden to explore how nature positively affects mental and physical health and fosters community and teamwork. The garden encourages students to look for “5 things to see, 4 things to touch, 3 things to smell, 2 things to hear, and 1 thing to taste” to inspire them to connect with their environment.

Tigers’ Den
Hyde Park Elementary School, Denison, TX
Students at Hyde Park Elementary School built a beautiful raised bed garden from milk carton “bricks” along with tiger sculptures to watch over their plants.  They also planted flowering plants in decorated milk cartons for residents of a local nursing home.

PS 147 Earth Day Project
PS 147 Isaac Remsen School For Environmental Engineering, Brooklyn, NY
Description: Students created an eye catching educational display demonstrating the relationship between honeybees and cherry trees to teach students about the important role of pollinators.

Middle/High School Winners

Rooftop Garden
Twin Bridges School, Twin Bridges, MT
Twin Bridges Agricultural Education students used milk cartons to engineer innovative rooftop gardens for their new beehives.  The green roofs add protection from the weather and a food source.

Marsh Grass Restoration
Sturgis Charter Public School-East, Hyannis, MA
Students at Sturgis Charter Public School-East propagated endangered species of marsh grass seeds to use in efforts to restore saltgrass habitats in their community.

Vertical Garden and Info Center
Omro High School, Omro, WI
Students created a vertical garden information center using recycled and repurposed materials to demonstrate small space gardening techniques.  It was designed to be mobile so that it can be used as an educational resource in both their school and the community.  

Homemade Recycles Hydroponics System
Dufur High School, Dufur, OR
Students designed a solar-powered hydroponic growing system from repurposed and recycled materials.

Bird Sanctuary
Luther Burbank Middle School, Los Angeles, CA
Art and garden classes collaborated to create a bird habitat on school grounds providing shelter, food and water for their feathered friends using repurposed materials. Students learned about the important role birds play in their local ecosystem and noticed an increase in the bird population on their campus as a result of their efforts.

For more information about this year’s winners and links to additional photos and project videos, visit the contest winners page on the Carton 2 Garden website.