Students and staff of the Arkansas Governor’s School and Keep Arkansas Beautiful teamed up to clean up the nature preserve at Hendrix College on Saturday.

KAB Chairman Mark Elrod led the high school seniors to the nature preserve.

He said Keep Arkansas Beautiful advocates picking up litter and encourages recycling and beautification efforts. Fifty students volunteered Saturday.

"We’re doing something nice for Hendrix and something nice for the City of Conway," he said just before the students and KAB staff hiked over to the nature preserve from the Student Life and Technology Center on Saturday.

He said KAB affiliates host larger cleanups across the state in the spring and fall but that he wanted to localize the initiative, noting the Arkansas Governor’s School emphasizes community service to its students.

Students broke out into groups of three to four and began picking up items as small as ripped pieces of paper and cigarette butts and as large as abandoned tires.

Jenny Bond, a Cabot senior, said that while the project was simple, it bestowed deeper meaning and purpose within the student volunteers.

The Arkansas Governor’s School is a six-week program that takes in 400 students from across the state. The students attend classes six days a week.

"You are in an environment of people who are voluntarily taking six weeks of their summer basically to be intellectually stimulated," Bond said.

The program is unique and allows students from all over the state who share a passion for knowledge to come together to learn and grow.

"The goal is to make us branch out to other parts of the country, the world, with our ideas that are budding here with our ideas to improve our community not only just in our school district but throughout our state and ultimately throughout our country," she said.