2019 Carton 2 Garden Winners



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.

2019 Carton 2 Garden Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 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 2019 contest, awards included:

  • 1 Grand Prize award package valued at $5,000
  • 4 Specialty Prizes for  Carton Art in the Garden, Environmental Stewardship, Health & Nutrition, and STEM. Specialty Prize award package valued at $2,000 each.
  • 5 Elementary Prizes and 5 Middle/High School Prizes. Grade Level Prize award package valued at $1,000 each.

The 2019 winning programs included:

Grand Prize

Carton 2 Garden grand prize winner

Southfield School, Shreveport, Louisiana – “STEAM Vertical Wall”
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 such as cilantro, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, chives, sage, along with fruits and vegetables such as radishes, onions, carrots, strawberries, and a variety of lettuces. The harvest will be used for student taste tests to promote healthy eating behaviors and also 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. This new addition to their garden provides them with innumerable opportunities to explore and experiment.

Carton Art in the Garden

Arnold O. Beckman High School, Irvine, California – “Beckman High School’s “Good Luck” Garden”
Carton 2 Garden winner

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.  Students chose the theme of Chinese New Year because of its importance to their community.  They also hope that since 2019 is the Year of the Pig and pigs are a symbol of good luck and fortune, the garden will be blessed with those qualities throughout 2019. The project brought together a diverse group of students and allowed them to each use their own talents to create a special event in their garden that the whole school could enjoy.

Environmental Stewardship

Idlewild Elementary, Memphis, Tennessee – “Monarch Migration by the Moo-mphis Monarchs”
Carton 2 Garden winnerStudents at Idlewild Elementary used repurposed milk cartons to create two beautiful and functional educational tools for their Monarch butterfly garden. Their garden was created to serve as a way station for Monarchs on their round trip journey between Mexico and Canada each year.  Students designed and created two displays to enhance their garden space. 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.  In addition to creating a habitat for Monarchs on school grounds, the students are also using their new knowledge to encourage the community surrounding the school to plant more milkweed. Inspired and enthusiastic, the students at Idlewild Elementary are doing their part to protect and support the Monarch population.

Health and Nutrition

St. Martin's Episcopal School, Metairie, Louisiana – “Healthy Eating - Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well”
Carton 2 Garden winner
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.  A fun and creative addition to their program was the making of bunny carton planters so that each student that participated in their classes could take their own lettuce plants home.  They plan to make their garden and educational programs an annual project for the Environmental Science class.


The Country School, Madison, Connecticut – “Country School Carton Collaborators Mini-Greenhouse”
Carton 2 Garden winner
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 green house panels. They even crafted an irrigation system to help keep their young plants watered.

Elementary and Middle/High School Winners

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

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