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Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park

Each fall, Arkansans improve their communities by volunteering in the Great Arkansas Cleanup, an annual litter pickup and community cleanup event led by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful. These cleanup efforts encourage Arkansans to take ownership of Arkansas’s scenic beauty, environmental health and quality of life.

Our Arkansas State Parks are some of the most beautiful, well-loved areas in Arkansas. By helping reduce the amount of litter in our parks, Arkansans are helping preserve intricate ecosystems and special spaces in The Natural State.

“The State Parks of Arkansas are longtime partners with Keep Arkansas Beautiful for efforts at making The Natural State shine,” Arkansas State Parks Chief of Interpretation and Program Services Kelly Farrell says.

“A majority of our 52 state parks host Great Arkansas Cleanup events, many of them during September and October’s focused campaign following the busy summer season. Our park interpreters plan targeted cleanup projects which are terrific service opportunities for Scouts, church groups, civic clubs, and anyone who’s interested in helping care for their local parks. Many cleanups offer free T-shirts and luncheons for volunteers.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s goal is to inspire and educate individuals to improve their communities. This goal requires more than simply picking up litter once a year. Clean, green spaces are a priority because public spaces encourage socially connected communities and economic development, and teach conservation.

Volunteering is often a meaningful first step for communities and individuals to easily become engaged, make a difference, and have an impact. That level of dedication to removing other people’s litter is inspirational, and we hope that, this year, we see some sort of cleanup event in every county across Arkansas.

We know – and share – the pride of being an Arkansan and living in The Natural State. We know that, all across this beautiful place, everyone wants Arkansas to be litter-free.

These beautification projects don't just involving picking up litter – you can also participate in painting murals, cultivating gardens and planting trees. Your participation goes beyond a impacting an area and can positively impact civic pride, livability, and economic growth. 

Many Arkansas state parks have volunteer events planned. These events provide a way for individuals to take ownership of the place they call home and create an inviting space where communities can thrive together. The Great Arkansas Cleanup has projects scheduled around the state through October. 

Our Arkansas State Parks system would not be what it is today without the dedication of volunteers throughout the years. In fact, early records indicate that Dr. T.W. Hardison was the first state park volunteer. He was the first chairman of the State Parks Commission and it was through his dedication and efforts that our first state park, Petit Jean State Park, was created. The rest of the story is our legacy. You can be a part of this incredible legacy and a steward of The Natural State’s parks by joining us and Keep Arkansas Beautiful by signing up to volunteer at an Arkansas state park.