Captain Planet at Arabia MountainVolunteers, parents and students work side-by-side to create an outdoor learning space

The Nature Conservancy kicked off the Nature Works Everywhere Learning Gardens Program in Atlanta on Thursday, April 3. 

Presented in partnership with the Captain Planet Foundation and the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and sponsored by CSX Transportation, Nature Works Everywhere gardens connect students to a global challenge—to protect the natural systems that produce our food, water, air and energy. 


Eleven metro Atlanta schools will receive the grants to build or expand existing gardens during 2014. Arabia Mountain High School is the first recipient. The Nature Conservancy has an established relationship with this unique environmental high school, a DeKalb County magnet school located in Lithonia. A group of rising seniors is selected each spring to participate in the Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program. These paid interns live and work on Conservancy lands across the country for four weeks over the summer. 

“The Nature Conservancy is investing in the next generation of conservation leaders for Georgia and beyond, and this school has been a wonderful partner in this endeavor,” said Deron Davis, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. “We are proud to partner with the Captain Planet Foundation to execute this program here, and grateful for our national collaboration with EMA and support from CSX Transportation.” 

The Atlanta-based Captain Planet Foundation has an established Learning Gardens program that provides schools with strategies for building effective, long-lasting garden-based learning programs. “Captain Planet has the stated goal of putting a Learning Garden in every school in metro-Atlanta by 2020. Collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to build more gardens is a natural extension of our work towards that goal and we could not be more thrilled,” said Leesa Carter, executive director of the Captain Planet Foundation.    

The Atlanta-based Captain Planet Foundation ( promotes and supports high-quality educational projects that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate their world through hands-on environmental stewardship projects that improve the environment in their schools and communities. The foundation has distributed more than $2.5 million in grants to fund more than 1,700 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in Georgia, all other U.S. states and 23 countries.  More than one million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects.