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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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Bonnie Plants and GEF promote benefits of indoor plants in schools with free contest

May 17, 2012 – As part of the free Green Thumb Challenge program, GEF and Bonnie Plants, one of the program’s sponsors and a national supplier of premium-quality plants, call on students and teachers to learn about the benefits of indoor plants. By bringing plants into the classroom, students are able to connect science lessons with real-world situations and current environmental issues, such as indoor air quality. GEF provides free lessons, such as The Benefits of Indoor Plants, from their K-12 Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse to supplement the contest. The annual Adopt-a-Plant competition challenges students to be creative in naming their classroom’s adopted plant to win prizes and national recognition.

2012 Adopt a Plant runner upThis year, GEF received applications from across the nation and narrowed it down to one winner and two runners-up. To apply, classrooms submitted a picture of the students with the plant, as well as an official GEF Certificate of Adoption complete with plant name and student signatures. Winners receive I Drink Green water bottles for their classroom to promote water conservation at school and on hot days in the garden.

The winner was a sixth grade class from Southgate Elementary in New York. Their adopted plant was named Photo-Synthia, highlighting how indoor air can be cleaned through plants’ natural photosynthesis process, as well as connecting to topics covered in core science standards. The runners up were Fergie the Fresh Air Fern, submitted by a first grade class at Southgate Elementary, and a group submission from the Digital Imaging Club at Sunrise Park Elementary School named Radicchio, Pilea, Philodendron, Fittonia, and Hypoestes.

“It’s so motivating to see today’s youth appreciate the power of plants, especially when it becomes such an integral part of their education,” shared Stan Cope, President of Bonnie Plants. “We’re proud to support the Adopt-a-Plant contest as a model example of kids connecting with nature in a way that is fun, creative, and educational.” Victoria Waters, CEO of GEF, also commented on the success of this year’s contest: “We are so pleased with the results of the 2012 Adopt-a-Plant contest. The great work around gardening being accomplished at schools nationwide is impressive and inspiring.”

To find free lessons about the benefits of plants or gardening in GEF’s Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse, please visit

To learn more about the Green Thumb Challenge or the Adopt-a-Plant contest, please visit


About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.

Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at

About Bonnie Plants

Headquartered in Union Springs, Alabama, Bonnie Plants is the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, with 65 growing stations serving 48 states, regionally, nationwide. Established in 1918 by Bonnie and Livingston Paulk, the company is still family run by the grandson of its founders. Bonnie provides a wide variety of vegetables and herbs in biodegradable, plantable pots saving more than a hundred million plastic pots from landfills each year. Bonnie is committed to providing high quality, vigorous plants to consumers and to green gardening. Bonnie Plants are available at garden retailers across the country. For more information please visit

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

Online Professional Development

Visit GEF Institute's website to find online, sustainability-focused professional development courses. Earn a certificate or simply take a course for academic or professional development credits through the Institute's partnering university.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi