By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 19, 2011 at 5:33 AM

The official celebration of Earth Day is Friday, April 22, though most green-minded Milwaukeeans will tell you that caring for Mother Earth is a year-round responsibility.

Join community organizations throughout the rest of April -- and even in May -- to do your part for the good of the planet and have some fun at these eco-friendly events.

Tosa Green Summit
April 20
Learn more about how you and your family can help make a greener and more sustainable community at this year's free open house, held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Wauwatosa Civic Center. Speak with over 25 exhibitors in the library's Firefly Room and stop by the Kid's Green Corner for some fun for the little ones.

Miller Lite Free Rides
April 21
Miller Lite and the Milwaukee County Transit System are extending a free ride to morning commuters in celebration of Earth Day. Jump-start a more environmentally friendly routine with complimentary bus service on all routes until 9 a.m. Route and schedule information is available by calling 1-800-FREE RIDES or by texting FREERIDE to 30364.

Do Something Reel Film Festival
April 21-26
Whole Foods Market and Times Cinema present the Do Something Reel Film Festival in celebration of Earth Month. From farmers and active everyday citizens to doctors and scientists, the Do Something Reel line-up provides a moving, eye-opening look at how the choices we make can have a huge impact on our bodies, our economy and our environment. Tickets are $8 per film or $35 for the six-film series.

Earth Week Bicycle Drive
Through April 22
The Lake Express ferry and Milwaukee Bicycle Collective are teaming up again this year to promote "green" travel with the second annual Earth Week Bicycle Drive. Bring your gently used bicycles to the ferry terminal between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in exchange for a $50 gift certificate toward a trip on the Lake Express ferry (limit one certificate per donor).

Outdoor Recreation Resource Fair
April 22
Presented in partnership with Milwaukee County Parks, this fair at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum offers a chance to speak with representatives from area outdoor organizations about the exciting ways your family can actively explore, enjoy and protect nature. Kids can also join Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl for hands-on activities that teach ways to care for the earth during the fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Earth Poets and Musicians Celebration
April 22
Join Jahmes Finlayson, Jeff Poniewaz, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Harvey Taylor and Holly Haebig Wake at Urban Ecology Center's Riverside Park location for an evening of wisdom, passion and humor. Celebrate your home and contemplate ways to protect it from 7 to 10 p.m. at this 24th annual Earth Day program. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Washington Heights Neighborhood Cleanup
April 23
Families and individuals can join Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and the Washington Heights Neighborhood Association to help clean up the area from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet in the parking lot at the corner of North 47th and Vliet Streets to pick up trash and beautify the neighborhood. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided, and all participants will receive coupons for free admission to the zoo and county golf courses, plus discounts to other events. Other neighborhood cleanups can be found on the KGMB Web site, too.

Vermicomposting Workshop
Tuesday, April 26
KGMB stops by REI's Brookfield location, 13100 W. Capitol Dr., for a special workshop from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Learn how to build a simple indoor worm bin using common household items and turn your kitchen scraps into "gold" for your garden for just $5 for REI members and $10 for guests.

In Celebration of Trees
Friday, April 29
Bring the whole family to connect with nature as you explore hiking trails, create artwork, adopt a tree and more from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Boerner Botanical Gardens' special Earth Day/Arbor Day event.

River Cleanup By Canoe
Saturday, April 30
High schoolers can paddle along with the Milwaukee Riverkeepers' annual Spring River Clean Up from 9 a.m. to noon today. Meet at the Urban Ecology Center's Rowing Club Boathouse, 1190 N. Commerce, for a fun morning of cleaning up the river and its banks. The program is free, but parent/guardian permission is required. Download the permission form here.

Saturday, April 30
Bring your gardening gloves and work alongside community members and volunteers to improve biodiversity and eradicate Garlic Mustard and invasive plants from the Urban Ecology Center's Washington and Riverside Park locations. The free Weed-Out! takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at both parks.

City of Cudahy's Earth/Arbor Day
Saturday, April 30
Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day in Cudahy with a city-wide cleanup at 9 a.m., followed by a tree planting and presentation of the Tree City USA award at Cudahy City Hall, 5050 S. Lake Dr. Volunteers will receive free food, tree seedlings and cleanup materials.

Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens
Saturday, April 30
Learn how to conserve water and save money using a rain barrel collection system to water your garden and lawn as Outpost Capitol Drive hosts KGMB's Rain Barrel discussion from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Stick around for the hands-on rain garden workshop from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and design your own garden to maximize your home's water efficiency. Cost is $15 for each program.

Earth Day for Afternoon Nappers
Saturday, April 30
Children ages 5 and younger (and their parent/guardian) can get in the Earth Day spirit as the Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park hosts a morning of hiking, crafts, stories and more fun for the little ones from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Earth Day Festivals
Saturday, April 30
Visit either Urban Ecology Center location for music, crafts, nature exploration and more from noon to 4 p.m. Special events include a Korean Drum performance, rock climbing and live animals from Moondance Ranch at Riverside Park and canoeing and a live performance from the Music of Nature program members at Washington Park.

Party for the Planet
Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15
Celebrate Earth Day and International Migratory Bird Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo's two-day weekend event. Discover how small living changes can help animals, preserve the environment and save the planet, and get tips on everything from recycling to planting native Wisconsin plants in your yard from members of area nature groups. Plus, kids can have fun with a variety of educational entertainment as they "fly" through the zoo as one of four species of birds that migrate to Wisconsin from Central and South America.