Noting that almost 60 percent of Ocean County’s 408,000 acres or 230,682 acres have been preserved for open space including federal, state and county lands, Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari is calling on county residents to recognize April 22 as Earth Day. “We take great pride in our environment in Ocean County,” Vicari said. “From our parks to our open space to our efforts to protect and preserve Barnegat Bay, I am asking all of our citizens to take the same pride in their communities as we celebrate Earth Day.” The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970 and was created by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to raise awareness and educate about the importance of taking care of the environment. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day. Vicari, who serves as liaison to Buildings and Grounds recently joined with Ocean County Grounds crews at the large planter at the corner of Hooper Avenue and Washington Street to plant seasonal flowers in honor of Earth Day.