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"30 Days of Green" Learning Garden Contest Winner Announced

Submitted by: Keep America Beautiful

Categories: Environment

Posted: Jun 21, 2007 – 02:00 PM EST


Student Wins $10,000 Learning Garden for Elementary School in Newark, N.J., in Keep America Beautiful, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, National Gardening Association Nationwide Contest

Jun. 21 /CSRwire/ - STAMFORD, CT- June 21, 2007- According to fourth grader Anthony Alvarez from Franklin School in Newark, N.J., "the children of Newark need more parks and greens spaces," and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and Keep America Beautiful are going to help. Alvarez submitted a poignant essay on behalf of his class to the "30 Days of Green" Learning Garden contest sponsored by ScottsMiracle-Gro, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the National Gardening Association (NGA), explaining his school's need for a learning garden. After reaching out to 81,000 classrooms nationwide, the partners of the Learning Garden contest selected Franklin School as the grand prize winner of a learning garden to be implemented in the spring of 2008.

"I have witnessed what an inner-city school can do with just a little area of green," said Joseph P. Cullen, vice principal of Newark Public Schools. "With our urban setting, a learning garden will bring a powerful sense of pride to the community." Cullen rallied behind Alvarez's efforts, writing a letter to accompany the essay submission, to express his support for the program and the need for green spaces in the Newark community.

The "30 Days of Green" campaign promotes green spaces as a means to create healthy, thriving communities. Alvarez's essay described that in his urban setting he and his classmates aren't exposed to many parks or green areas and that more green spaces, such as a learning garden, would complement their community and provide kids with an opportunity to observe how a garden grows or even just relax and read in it.

"Schools like Franklin are the motive behind our mission to bring green spaces to children and communities that need them the most," said Rich Martinez, chief environmental officer, ScottsMiracle-Gro. "Through the '30 Days of Green' campaign, ScottsMiracle-Gro is encouraging environmental stewardship among America's youth and teaching the value of learning through gardening."

The school name will be showcased on the ScottsMiracle-Gro car, driven by Carl Edwards, in an upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race. As an additional prize for his exceptional entry and contribution to the school, ScottsMiracle-Gro presented Alvarez and his family with a weekend trip to the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., for the Coca-Cola 600. Alvarez was able to meet with Edwards, who congratulated Alvarez on his dedication to his school and the environment.

Design experts from ScottsMiracle-Gro and the Keep Irvington Beautiful affiliate of KAB, along with Franklin School teachers, students and staff, will spend the coming months planning and developing the site of the future learning garden for implementation in the spring of 2008.

Over the past two years, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the world's largest marketer of branded products for consumer lawn and garden care, and KAB have worked to create more green spaces in America's cities. In 2007, the organizations joined with Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, and the National Gardening Association to create an educational youth program. Through the "30 Days of Green" campaign, teachers and students nationwide were encouraged to enter the Learning Garden Contest for a chance to win a learning garden for their school.

Additional "30 Days of Green" features included:

  • Green activities and tips for students to learn more about their environment and they part they play in it, e.g., School lunches produce 1.2 billion pounds of trash a year. Bring a litter-less lunch and have a picnic outside.

  • National Class Outside Day; encouraged teachers to schedule outside activities for students to learn from and appreciate their environment

  • Write a letter to your mayor requesting more parks and green spaces in your community

  • Participate in a KAB Great American Cleanup™ event and help clean up parks and trails in your area

    In an effort to extend the "30 Days of Green" campaign to a year-long program, ScottsMiracle-Gro, KAB and NGA will continue to develop educational programs to create healthy communities across the nation. Additional activities and information can be found at www.kidsgardening.org.

    About ScottsMiracle-Gro

    With more than $2.7 billion in worldwide sales and more than 6,000 associates, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts(R), Miracle-Gro(R) and Ortho(R) brands are market leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup(R) brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. The Company also owns Smith & Hawken , a leading brand of garden-inspired products that includes pottery, watering equipment, gardening tools, outdoor furniture and live goods. Additionally, the Company owns Morning Song , the leading brand in the wild bird food category. In Europe, Scotts' brands include Weedol(R), Pathclear(R)Evergreen(R)Levington(R)Miracle-Gro(R), KB(R), Fertiligene(R) and Substral(R). For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

    About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

    Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community's environment. The Great American Cleanup™ is the organization's signature program that mobilizes millions of volunteers to improve their communities through hands-on participation. For more information, visit www.kab.org.

    About the National Gardening Association

    Founded in 1972, NGA is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education, respected for its award-winning Web sites and newsletters, grants and curricula for youth gardens, and research for the lawn and garden industry. NGA's mission is to advance the personal, community, and educational benefits of gardening by supporting gardeners and teachers with information and resources. To learn more, please visit www.garden.org or www.kidsgardening.org.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Robert Wallace Keep America Beautiful
    Phone: (203) 323-8987, ext. 811
    Phone: (312) 297-7407

    For more from this organization:

    Keep America Beautiful


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