This Bob Ross Inspired 5K Helps Plant Happy Little Trees in Michigan State Parks

This Bob Ross Inspired 5K Helps Plant Happy Little Trees in Michigan State Parks

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This April, the Run for the Trees: Happy Little 5K returns for a fifth year, and you can hike, run, bike, skate, or paddle your way to some cool Bob Ross inspired swag. The proceeds from this virtual event also helps tree planting and forest protection efforts in Michigan state parks while helping honor the legacy of the legendary painter and educator. This year’s participants will received a finisher’s medal, sticker, commemorative race bib, and a t-shirt. You are asked to complete your 5K between April 22 (Earth Day) and April 26 (Arbor Day). The 5K can be completed anywhere and at any pace, which opens this event up to everyone in the state!

Registration is open until April 1st. Michigan is not the only state that participates in this event, as it has expanded into Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin since its inception. The Michigan DNR receives funds to help plant trees as a result of this race and in recent years we’ve seen that take place at Yankee Springs State Recreation Area, Port Crescent State Park, and Orchard Beach State Park.

Bob Ross Happy Little 5K Michigan Yankee Springs

Bob Ross often painted “happy little trees” on his PBS show “The Joy of Painting.” He has become a beloved figure like Mister Rogers over the past few decades, and now Bob Ross Inc. has carried on his legacy by partnering with organizations like the Michigan DNR to plant trees and preserve forests. From the Michigan DNR: “Volunteers collect local native seeds from the areas where trees are most needed. Through a partnership with the Michigan Department of Corrections, the seeds are placed in the care of inmates in the Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, where inmates learn horticultural practices and help raise new trees for replanting. The collection of local native seeds is key to growing trees specifically for replanting at state parks within the same geographical region, because trees with similar genetics – for example, height, leaf shape and size, type of flowers and function – are much more likely to thrive. The Happy Little Trees program supports the restoration of native Michigan ecosystems and other natural resources by growing native trees, shrubs, grasses and plant products for use in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and public boating access sites.”