Princeton schools on Saturday got some tender loving care during the first district-wide clean-up day in nearly a decade. 

Community members, students, staff and trustees picked up trash and debris, built animal pens, planted flowers, lay gravel, and completed several other much-needed projects. 

“There is always a lot to do around here,” said Superintendent Cory Williams, who organized the volunteer effort of about 15 people. 

At Princeton Jr./Sr. High School, volunteers picked up wood and debris for the burn pile, and filled receptacles with other trash. 

“It’s about school pride,” said 13-year-old Mattie Hansen, an eighth grader who worked alongside her mother, Melissa. 

Community members said it was a perfect fall day for the project. 

The work done at Princeton Elementary School was primarily landscape and beautification, as volunteers planted flowers and a tree in front of the office, and cleared and leveled ground for gravel just east of the kindergarten classroom. 

In addition to cleaning the grounds, community members and students later in the day (because of the late Friday night travel to Beiber for football) worked at the new Ag Barn.

Construction started on the first-of-a-kind facility at Princeton High in April. 

On Saturday, volunteers started putting together pens, and water and power is expected to be available in the next few weeks. 

“Right now we are not in a hurry, but we are on track to have it ready for students to put animals in about March 1,” Williams said. “It won’t have all the bells and whistles but it will be functional.” 

It’s been more than eight years since the district hosted a extensive clean up and improvement of the school grounds, and Williams hopes for it to be an annual event, and include projects like painting.  

“We will do it again next year,” Williams said. ■