ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is celebrating Arbor Day in a big way, releasing $2.2 million in grants for tree planting and community forestry projects across the state.

Grants are available to municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, school districts, soil and water conservation districts, community colleges, not-for-profits, and Native American nations or tribes. The money will come from the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. It was established in 1872 to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees to provide shade, shelter, food, fuel and beauty to open areas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the latest grants on Friday at a tree-planting event in Albany.

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