LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This April 22 will mark the 53rd Earth Day since its founding, and central Arkansas has a lot going on to commemorate the day.

The event began in 1970 as awareness about environmental damage entered the public consciousness, starting on a handful of college campuses. Since then Earth Day has grown in scope and size.

In 2023, more than 190 countries will celebrate Earth Day, with over 1 billion people worldwide mobilizing, according to official statistics.

The Natural State is one of those many places where Earth Day will be commemorated, with events taking place across the state giving everyone a chance to do something environmentally friendly.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is hosting a cleanup. The park is asking volunteers to celebrate the day with them by committing to at least 30 minutes of helping beautify the park. On arrival, your group will be assigned a task and location, and any needed tools will be provided to act in the spirit of the day.

Of course, Keep Arkansas Beautiful reminds us that cleanups don’t have to happen just on Earth Day, although it has a giant list of April 22 cleanups around the state, including state park cleanup events.

Or you could go for a hike. Hobbs State Park–Conservation Area is hosting an Earth Day hike led by a park interpreter who will explain the forest and its benefits. The hike is on the ADA-accessible half-mile Ozark Plateau Trail.

The Little Rock Zoo is hosting several Earth Day events called Party for the Planet. It starts with a volunteer cleanup from 8:30 a.m. to noon throughout the zoo. Then to a recycling drop-off event takes place in the zoo parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon with Keep Little Rock Beautiful and the city’s Sustainability Office.

The zoo will also have Earth Day-oriented activity stations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., each with an opportunity to learn about conservation and protecting the planet. This would be a good time to check out the entries for the zoo’s Recycled Art Contest.

Also in Little Rock, the city’s close-out of National Volunteer Week is an Earth Day event at 9 a.m. in Riverfront Park to plant flowers.

The Central Arkansas Library System is hosting an event at its Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. The Naturally Arkansas: Bringing Nature to Your Yard event will have information and presentations on how to bring nature to your yard.

Also, the CALS children’s library is an open house at its teaching garden and greenhouse with more gardening ideas.

An event sponsored by the White Oka Bayou Wetlands Conservancy is a chance to get on the central Arkansas water for Earth Day. Hop in your canoe or kayak, or rent one, for a one-hour float tour in Maumelle’s wetlands, with trips departing at 9, 10 and 11 a.m.