Our Story

Captain Planet in front of the earth

The Power is Yours

Based on the critically-acclaimed animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) was co-founded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and producer Barbara Pyle as a corporate foundation of TBS.

In 2002, CPF separated from TBS and became a 501(c)3 public charity, with the stated mission to work collaboratively to engage and empower young people to be problem solvers for the planet.



Captain Planet Foundation is established

The Captain Planet Foundation is born at Turner Broadcasting System when executive producer, Barbara Pyle, negotiates a percentage of the show’s merchandising revenue to engage and empower young people around the world to be problem-solvers for the planet.

Captain Planet Foundation becomes independent public nonprofit

Laura Turner Seydel, the daughter of Ted Turner, and her husband Rutherford are so impressed by the grassroots outcomes and mission of the Foundation, they orchestrate the transition of the corporate foundation into a 501(c)(3) public charity.

1st Annual Captain Planet Foundation Gala

During the 20th anniversary celebration, the Captain Planet Foundation Gala is born and the Board of Directors develops a new strategic vision for the Foundation – which includes adding “best practice” scalable operating programs based on a 20-year review of grant-funded projects.

New Team & Programs

Leesa Carter-Jones joins as Foundation President and the team launches their first operating program, Project Learning Garden, across the Atlanta-metro region.

SAGES & Millionth Student Impacted

Captain Planet Foundation passes the milestone of having directly funded one million kids and young people through its environmental, project-based ecoSolutions Grant Program for K-12 schools and informal educators.

Project Hero

Captain Planet Foundation and Turner Endangered Species Fund convene conservation leaders in Bozeman, MT to discuss a collaborative project to catalyze the natural empathy K-12 students have for endangered species and the growing extinction crisis. Project Hero is born as a solution-driven web platform that sends kids on “Quests” to learn about their local ecosystem & species. Each Quest culminates with students restoring habitat loss and reversing biodiversity decline. 

25th Anniversary & ecoSTEM

Captain Planet Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary and launches a partnership with DonorsChoose.org making best practice, hands-on environmental science learning projects available to K-12 classrooms through curated ecoSTEM Resource Kits.

Ocean Heroes Bootcamp

Captain Planet Foundation partners with Lonely Whale to design and deliver the first Ocean Heroes Bootcamp in New Orleans to train young people (ages 10-22) how to create successful campaigns that reverse the plastic pollution crisis and restore the health of the oceans. The program is like rocket fuel and trains 1,200+ youth activists from 56 countries within three years – with Heroes changing single-use policies across local businesses, school districts, states, and countries.

COVID-19 Response

In the face of a blossoming COVID-19 epidemic, Captain Planet Foundation quickly stands up Project Giving Gardens to leverage school gardens [abandoned during closures] to grow fresh produce for food insecure kids and families across metro-Atlanta. Over 100 schools sign up, 10 urban growers are hired, and in partnership with Food Well Alliance’s 20 community gardens, over 100,000 lbs of organically-managed produce is harvested and distributed (roughly 400,000 servings).

A virtual Ocean Heroes Bootcamp is developed and engages 400+ youth from 40 nations who spend a full week in June training to develop campaigns in ocean activism. Within a week of Bootcamp over 110 campaigns are submitted and initiated. The first Regional Caribbean Bootcamp follows in December – bringing 100+ youth from 14 island nations and territories.

COVID-19 Response

A second summer of Project Giving Gardens launches in May and expands to the San Francisco Bay Area & Oakland Public Schools – adding nearly 80 locations in that market.

Thousands of new Ocean Heroes are trained in a virtual Ocean Hero Global Bootcamp (June) and in collaboration with UNEP’s Tide Turners program in virtual Ocean Hero Global Bootcamps across Africa (July), India (August), and the Caribbean (October). 

Project Hero begins collaborating with Waterkeeper Alliance to build a Waterkeeper Alliance Quest Series to save fresh waters and their species in five waterways across the United States.

The 30th Anniversary Gala celebrates the legacy of executive producer Barbara Pyle, Ted Turner (Captain Planet himself!) and the 5 highly impactful and award-winning operating programs CPF has launched in the past decade.