Megan Farmer — The Daily TimesSan Juan College students Lori Robinson and Garrison Benally, right, help clean a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside
Megan Farmer — The Daily Times San Juan College students Lori Robinson and Garrison Benally, right, help clean a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside Drive in Farmington. Students in Murdoch Maloney's "Principles of Management" class at San Juan College cleaned about 80 yards on Friday and Saturday at part of a class project.

FARMINGTON — Mary Mills looked at her yard in the Apple Ridge Apartment complex on Friday morning.

"Pretty good," said the elderly woman as she smiled.

Mills' yard was among the more than 80 in Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland that volunteers, mostly from San Juan College, cleaned on Friday and Saturday.

About 18 of the nearly 45 volunteers on Friday were students in Murdoch Maloney's "Principles of Management" class at San Juan College. The spring cleanup event was part of a class project.

Maloney said the cleanup efforts aim to teach the students "practical experience in management, organizing and leadership."

San Juan College student Lori Robinson cleans a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside Drive in Farmington. Students in Murdoch Maloney’s "Principles
San Juan College student Lori Robinson cleans a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside Drive in Farmington. Students in Murdoch Maloney's "Principles of Management" class at San Juan College cleaned about 80 yards on Friday and Saturday at part of a class project. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

Over the last several weeks, the class split into groups to handle different tasks to organize the project. Students accepted applications for cleanup from more than 100 elderly applicants, and, this year, the class accepted applications from veterans.

For the last few years, the School of Business at San Juan College has organized cleanups in the spring and fall.

"We came together pretty good," said Mikki Smith, a student from Aztec.

She said the class had to organize fundraising, volunteers and marketing and review applications for the cleanup.

The class sent crews to various homes after they received breakfast and a sack lunch. Lunches were donated from the Deli Factory, and Waste Management donated trucks to haul away debris and trash.

Suhada Thanikkatt, a student in the class, said one of her challenges was finding donors for the two-day event.

"The most important challenge is to get the money from other pockets into our pockets," she said.

The class raised more than $700 by selling Navajo tacos, said Thanikkatt, who originally is from Kerala, India.

She added she and other classmates learned to effectively communicate with each other because of everyone's busy schedules.

San Juan College students Josephine Pioche, right, and Evan Rathbun clean a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside Drive in Farmington. Students in Murdoch
San Juan College students Josephine Pioche, right, and Evan Rathbun clean a yard on Friday at 1600 Cliffside Drive in Farmington. Students in Murdoch Maloney's "Principles of Management" class at San Juan College cleaned about 80 yards on Friday and Saturday at part of a class project. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

As crews rolled out to various sites Friday morning from San Juan College, Ariel Vivar, a student volunteer, said she enjoyed the morning's planning meeting.

"Everybody is in a good mood, and it's a good feeling," she said.

She said her role was to help dispatch crews and volunteers.

Though some of the volunteers were students from San Juan College fulfilling their community service requirements from other classes, a few students volunteered without having class incentives.

Evan Rathbun, 21, of Durango, Colo., swept Mill's sidewalk and raked pine needles and other debris.

The San Juan College student said this was his third time helping with the cleanup.

"I just like helping out people. It just makes me happy to help out," he said.

Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638. and ezah@daily-times.com. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.