Invest In Our Planet is the official theme for the 53rd annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22, and the Island’s conservation agencies, nonprofits and libraries are creating a diverse array of activities for Islanders to do just that.

As it has for the last 31 years, Vineyard Conservation Society’s Earth Day Beach Clean-Up provides an opportunity for volunteers to care for some of their favorite shores. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., gloves and trash bags will be available at beaches Island-wide and distributed to volunteers participating in the clean-up effort.

“This year, we will be caring for 29 beaches,” said Signe Benjamin, director of membership and resource development at VCS. “That’s the largest number we’ve ever had. We keep adding beaches to the list every year. The beach that’s new for this year is the Shellfish Hatchery.”

Others on the list range from Philbin in Aquinnah to down-Island beaches such as Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown, State Beach near Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs and Tashmoo in Vineyard Haven.

Vineyard Transit Authority will provide free bus rides to anyone helping with the clean-up.

A fun and purposeful Trash Contest is again part of Earth Day. Volunteers can bring the coolest, grossest, most unusual things found on the beach to the Earth Day Conservation Festival being held afterwards at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven.

The Earth Day Conservation Festival is a new event that brings together 18 environment and conservation-focused nonprofits to celebrate the Island’s natural beauty and the work done to preserve it. Martha’s Vineyard Fisherman’s Preservation Trust, Polly Hill Arboretum, BiodiversityWorks and the Great Pond Foundation are among the organizations that will share short presentations and lead art projects about pressing issues including nitrogen, cyanobacteria, yard re-wilding and renewable energy.

Free entry to the museum is part of the festivities. The staff is pulling oral history recordings of some of the Island’s great thinkers about environmental matters. A scavenger hunt throughout the main building and outdoor Bodman Courtyard and Doherty Hall will help visitors be familiar with how the museum tells the story of conservation on the Island.

In planning the festival activities, Heather Seger, the museum’s executive director, embraced an inclusive approach.

“It’s important to ground today’s work in the context of the first stewards of the Island,” she said. “We will start with a land acknowledgment offered by [Wampanoag tribe member] Adriana Ignacio and then the Black Brook Singers will perform a few songs to ground us in the mindset that people have been caring for this land for 10,000 years. The work we do today is important but it’s in a long tradition on the Island.”

Vineyard Conservation Society will continue the spirit of Earth Day after this Saturday through a new initiative to be launched next month. Beach Befrienders will implement ongoing beach clean-ups on the fourth Saturday of every month. One beach in each town has been designated for the initial six-month launch phase and the designated beaches will rotate every month. Beach Befrienders will kick off on May 27 at Philbin Beach in Aquinnah; visit for the full schedule.