It wasn’t only homecoming Friday on Sept. 27 in the Colo-NESCO School District. It was “service project” day, as well.

“We thought (a service project day) fit in well with homecoming week, as many former students will be back, and we always want to have our communities represented in a positive way,’ said Brandon Kelley, five-12 principal and athletic director for Colo-NESCO.

So, they did a community service day with projects taking them out into all three district communities, as well as to the nearby Hickory Grove Park, all to help others with work that needed to be done.

During the first two hours of the school day, cleanup work was done at the Colo City Park and near the tennis courts and around Reed-Niland Corner in Colo, while some students were busy at Threshold Learning Center in Zearing, picking up brush and other cleaning and winter-preparedness projects.

Later in the morning, some students went to McCallsburg to help a resident, Greg Patterson, with housework and property cleanup; while others headed to Hickory Grove Park to help with the ongoing task of cutting down the invasive species — honeysuckle.

Conservation Natural Resource Specialist Amy Yoakum explained to the students at Hickory Grove why it was necessary to rid the area of honeysuckle. Exotic honeysuckle replaces native forest shrubs and herbaceous plants by its invasive nature and early leaf-out. It shades out herbaceous ground cover and depletes soil moisture. She said volunteers are always needed to help pull out honeysuckle around the lake.

It was a good day for students, even with time spent outside the usual classrooms, Kelley said. “Students are learning about service learning projects and how they build good character in themselves and our school district… It’s a great opportunity to teach students and adults the importance of giving back to your community and improving our community.”