Carton 2 Garden is now closed.

DECEMBER 1, 2020

January 8, 2021


Registration Form
Entry Form Checklist
Entry Form

Full Contest Details
Prizes & Judging Criteria

Grant Writing Tips
Parental Release Form
Parent Release From in Spanish



The Carton 2 Garden program is part of Evergreen Packaging’s ongoing effort to raise awareness among consumers on the eco-friendly benefits of paper cartons. Evergreen Packaging cartons have the attributes consumers want: more than 70 percent of the carton is made from paper derived from a renewable resource: trees. Cartons are also recyclable, and cartons are made with renewable energy – over 50% of the energy used to make the paper in our cartons comes from biomass.



Carton 2 Garden
The "Good Luck" garden at Arnold O Beckman High School, was the 2019 Art in the Garden Winner. Here, a student is working on installing flowers grown in cartons.

The Carton 2 Garden contest is now closed.

Evergreen Packaging and are proud to present our sixth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest!  Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons.

Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria. After gathering cartons, it’s time to design and construct purposeful garden items and structures using them. Looking for ideas? Check out last year’s winners for inspiration and visit us on Facebook, and Twitter for tips, activities, and lessons.


Register your interest in participating in the 2019-2020 Carton 2 Garden Contest to access a special collection of online lesson plans inspired by previous Carton 2 Garden winners.  By registering, you will also receive periodic tips and reminders from KidsGardening to help keep your project on track.


Carton 2 Garden
The completed project!

Carton 2 Garden is open to all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. Your school does not need a garden to participate. Pre-K classes located at schools serving additional elementary, middle and/or high school grade levels may also enter the contest.

All entries must document and share their gardening experience through an online entry form and submission of up to 10 photos. In order to be eligible for the grand prize and specialty prizes, entries must also include a video link (under 5 minutes) that tells the story of the project in its entirety. Please note that each student that appears in the photos or video must have an accompanying signed parental release form submitted with your entry. The official parental release form is also available in Spanish.


Online Entry Form

After completing your Carton 2 Garden project, you must fill out and submit an online entry form and include 5 - 10 photos highlighting your project from beginning to end. You can download the Entry Form Checklist to view the information that will be requested.


In the spring, we made the decision to delay the deadline for the Carton 2 Garden Contest due to the sudden closure of most schools across the country. Although instruction is taking on new formats still today, schools across the country have reopened and so we are ready to finish up the 2020 Carton 2 Garden Contest before year’s end. As you are transforming to meet new realities, please know we are very supportive of adapted efforts and expecting that you will need to be innovative in completing your projects for this year’s Carton 2 Garden Contest. If you had started the contest in the spring, but did not have a chance to finish, you are welcome to complete it with a new group of students or just creatively share with us what you were able to accomplish in the spring before closures began. We will also welcome projects completed by students remotely. You may submit work that was completed in the spring and this fall, and if you submitted an entry in the spring, you are welcome to add to it if that makes sense for you to do so. At the bottom of this page, you will find answers to a few frequently asked questions that may be helpful,


Before you begin your project, check out our Judging Criteria so that you know what the judges will be looking for in your creation. Keep in mind that no purchase is necessary. Purchase of a product does not improve your chances of receiving an award.


Fifteen (15) entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts.

  • One (1) grand prize winner will be selected to receive a prize valued at $5,000.
  • Four (4) winners will be selected for exemplary demonstration in the following specialty areas: Carton Art in the Garden, Environmental Stewardship, Health & Nutrition, and STEM.  These four (4) winners will receive a prize valued at $2,000 each.
  • Ten (10) winners, five (5) middle/high school and five (5) elementary school, will receive award packages valued at $1,000 each.


Winners will be posted on and on Friday, January 8, 2021. Winning schools will be notified within 7 days following the official announcement via email.


All winners are asked to keep us apprised of the progress in their garden. Award winners will receive instructions following the announcement.

  1. Photos of Prize Presentation
    Winners are asked to provide up to five photos of the students receiving their prize (opening the prize box, presentation to the team, etc.)
  2. Progress of the Garden
    A minimum of 10 digital photos will be requested from all winners, regional and national winners showing the progress of the garden after the competition.

Note: Parental photo permission forms will be required for all youth pictured allowing and Evergreen Packaging to use the photos at their discretion.


Click here for more information



Do I need to submit student photo permission forms?
Yes, all recognizable students in submitted photos and videos, must have a completed parent permission form. If you can not identify a student in the picture or video, they do not require a photo permission form.

We realize this may be a challenge this year, especially if your school is meeting virtually. If you are unable to obtain permission forms, we suggest taking photos/video that do not picture your students’ faces or take photos/video without students.

Do projects have to be completed at school?
No, projects do not have to be completed in the school building. Your remote learners can participate at home and share their work back with you and the group in other ways.

Do we have to use school milk or juice cartons?
No, you may use any kind of paperboard carton including those readily available at the grocery store. Your project must incorporate at least 100 paperboard cartons.

Is there a minimum number of students that must participate in my project?
No, the project can include any size class or group of students in Kindergarden through 12th Grade. PreK classes based at a K-12 schools are also eligible to enter.

Do I have to be a school to apply?
The main contact for the Carton 2 Garden project entry must represent a school, however schools may partner/collaborate with other nonprofit and afterschool organizations on the project.

Do we have to grow plants for our project?
No, your Carton 2 Garden project does not require growing plants. From garden art to irrigation tools, we have many past winners who have used their projects to support garden learning in many creative ways. Let your students’ imaginations run wild. Check out the inspiration page at: