ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany city leaders planted a tree in honor of Arbor Day.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and other elected officials took part in the event.
During the ceremony, the DEC commission announced more than $750,000 in urban forestry grants are now available for urban communities. The grants are funded by the Environmental Protection Fund.
The tree planting ceremony took place outside the Capital.
Martens says it is important for people to realize the essential role trees play in the environment.
"As an industry in New York, it is a multi-million dollar industry. Forest products are everywhere you look. Chairs, tables, desks. It is important in all aspects of our lives," Martens said.
Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by Adams, New York native J. Sterling Morton.
A fifth grader from Queens was also recognized for winning the DEC's 2012 Arbor Day poster contest.