The Run for the Trees: Happy Little 5K will return in 2021 after the inaugural event supporting the state’s tree-planting efforts blew organizers’ expectations earlier this year.
The Spring 2020 Virtual 5K in honor of artist Bob Ross was initially limited to 1,000 participants. Then 20,000 people registered to receive registration information, which led the organizers to increase the cap to 25,000. Registration for the second annual event opens on Tuesday, December 1; subscribe to notifications here.
At this Michigan Department of Natural Resources 5K, participants can walk, run or hike anywhere outside of Michigan from April 22-30. The event window includes two weekends plus Earth Day, April 22, and Arbor Day, April 30.
The registration fee is $ 34 per person. Each participant will receive a Happy Little t-shirt, a commemorative bib and a finisher medal. A cartoon of Ross is included in the racing material. All profits will be support the planting of “Happy Little Trees” and the preservation of trees in Michigan State Parks, including places that have been hit hard by pests and tree diseases.
The race pays homage to the famous American painter and television host Bob Ross. Ross shared his “happy little trees” and his love of painting and the environment with millions of viewers on the television show “The Joy of Painting” in the 1980s and 1990s. He was known for his beautiful landscapes .
MNR’s Happy Little Trees program, in partnership with Bob Ross Inc., is helping state parks recover from invasive pests and diseases, including the emerald ash borer and oak wilt, which threaten trees. It is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative of the US Forest Service.