carton contest

Does your child’s school need a little incentive to grow—or launch—their gardening curriculum?

Photo by Walton LaVonda, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via Wikimedia Commons

If so, here’s a great way to get started: The Carton 2 Garden Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Packaging and Kids Gardening.


“Show us your students’ creativity by re-purposing milk and juice cartons from your school cafeteria to either build or enhance your school garden. Educators can engage students in a hands-on experience, creating teachable moments on environmental stewardship, sustainability, and living healthy,” explains the Carton 2 Garden website. “The best use of cartons in your school garden gives your school the chance to win a prize valued up to $2,500 for building or enhancing its garden.”

Photo by Michael Quinn, Grand Canyon National Park, via Wikimedia Commons


The Carton 2 Garden Contest is open to any public, private, or charter K-12 school in the United States. Entries must be submitted by April 22, 2015, so you’ll need to start gathering cartons in a jiffy.

Twenty schools with the most unique carton creations will be announced on May 22, 2015, to win award packages. Sixteen winners in eight different regions will receive award packages, each valued at over $1,000, and four national winners will be selected to receive award packages, each valued up to $2,500 to start or help sustain a school garden.

Each school’s entry must use at least 100 cartons, which will be judged according to their quality, sustainability, and creativity. Here’s a little video to kindle inspiration.

And here are links to help turn your inspiration into action:

  • Request an entry kit HERE.
  • Click HERE to read our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Read the official Contest Rules HERE.
  • Find classroom activities to complement your project HERE.
  • Get inspiration from past winners HERE.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    School gardens are gaining in popularity down here in Gainesville. The kids love to do the work and see their little patch of vegetables and flowers grow. It also offers a perfect segway into biology and botany science units for Spring curriculums. The cool thing about this Carton Garden project is that any classroom could probably find space beside sunny windows to grow things. In northern tier states, it would be impossible to really have a garden before school was out. With the carton idea, growing plants can be year around if you have a space and light to make it happen. Oh, the fun possibilities for classrooms of all ages!

  2. What a totally wonderful project for any school. Was very impressed with the creativity and also the usefulness of the projects. what a great contest!

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