2020 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.

2020 Carton 2 Garden Winners

Congratulations to the 2020 Carton 2 Garden Contest Winners! 2020 was a challenging year in so many ways, but we are thankful to our generous sponsor Evergreen Packaging for their dedication to seeing the Contest through and all of our amazing participants for their patience and dedication to keeping their garden programs growing.  As always, the entries were truly inspirational and we want to send a heartfelt thank you to 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 2020 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.

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.

The 2020 winning programs included:

Grand Prize

Grand Prize Winner – Thomaston Grammar School - "TGS 5th Grade" - Thomaston, Maine

The students at Thomaston Grammar used their cartons for a diverse array of garden projects. They launched a carton-based hydroponic garden to grow edibles including lettuce, spinach and herbs. They made bee hotels for their new orchard. They crafted baskets to help with storage of garden supplies, and they used individual cartons to build a giant milk carton to use as a collection bin for recyclables in their cafeteria. To watch a video of the project, click here.

Carton Art in the Garden

Dunham Elementary School - "Pollinator Power" - Petaluma, California

Students at Dunham Elementary created an expansive carton-based mosaic spotlighting pollinators along with an educational display to bring attention to the importance of pollinators with students and their community. To watch a video of this project, called “Pollinator Power,” click here.

Environmental Stewardship

Lucy T. Davis Elementary School - "The Buzz About Bees" - Florence,  South Carolina

Students at Lucy Davis Elementary completed an intensive study of bees and the importance of pollinators in our environment. They created their own “Air Bee N Bee” which will be part of a bee friendly habitat and native plant garden. To watch a video of this project, called “The Buzz about Bees,” click here.

Health and Nutrition

Virgil Mills Elementary  - "Born to Blossom" - Ellenton, Florida

The kindergarten class at Virgil Mills Elementary combined their garden activities with mindfulness lessons to teach students how to “Be Brave, Be Patient, Be Focused and Be Positive.” Incorporating a focus on emotional, mental and physical health students learned that just like the plants in their garden, they were “Born to Blossom.” To watch a video of the project, click here.


New Mountain Hill Elementary - "The Hive" - Fortson, Georgia

A multi-grade level entry, all the students at new Mountain Hill Elementary worked closely together to plan, construct and plant a new pollinator garden that was shaped like a beehive. Students explored the many ways pollinators are important in our world and our food systems. To watch a video of this project, called “The Hive,” click here.

Elementary and Middle/High School Winners

Elementary School Winners (K-5):

  • R. M. Miano Elementary’s “Sunrise Nursery” – Los Banos, CA
  • North Beach Elementary School’s “’Bee’ the Solution” – Miami Beach, FL
  • Pelican Island Elementary’s “Pelican Island Elementary is Growing Peaceful, Loving and Environmentally Conscious People and Flower Power for the Butterfly Garden!” – Sebastian, FL
  • C.P. Smith Elementary School’s “Burlington School District Child Care Program” – Burlington, VT
  • North Elementary School’s “The Pyramids of Basil” – Morgantown, WV

Middle and High School Winners (6-12):

  • Teague Middle School’s “TMS Gardening Project” – Altamonte Springs, FL
  • New Palestine Intermediate School’s “Go Green Club: Flower Power Catchment System” – New Palestine, IN
  • Denham Springs High School’s “DSHS R.E.A.C.H Club” – Denham Springs, LA
  • Eslie J. Parquette School at Sweetser’s “Ricker Farm to the Community!” – Saco, ME
  • Saint Mary's Catholic School’s “Carton 2 Garden Project” – Richmond, VA

Honorable Mention

Heritage High School  - "Project Climate" - Brentwood, California

A completely student-led effort, The Project Climate Club at Heritage High School used milk cartons to grow native oak trees to help replenish forests destroyed by the recent California Wildfires. Dedicated to only using existing resources throughout the process, they engineered creative ways to grow their seedlings using a wide diversity of repurposed materials. Their efforts included educating others about climate change and how they can help. To watch a video of the project, click here.

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