ALPENA, Mich. — The Michigan DNR has teamed up with Bob Ross Inc. to host the Happy Little 5k. This is a virtual 5k, meaning runners can participate on their own time, wherever they want between April 17 – 26.
Approximately $10 from the $34 registration fee will go towards supporting tree–planting efforts at state parks across Michigan. Michelle Coss from the parks and recreation division with the DNR explained just what a virtual 5k is. “They can get their packet in the mail and they can go out and do it in their own neighborhood. They can do it on a treadmill in the gym, they could do it with a group at a state park, they can do it however they want,” she said. “It’s not timed and there is no pressure.”
Previously the registration cap had a ceiling of only 1,000 participants, but after partnering with Bob Ross Inc., the limit now stands at 25,000. Coss says this partnership has been a huge help. “We’re super excited, and you know Bob Ross Incorporated, the people that are there are wonderful. They basically love the fact that the money being raised goes towards trees and they always say Bob would have loved this,” she said.
Seeds from the state parks are brought to correctional facilities where inmates are the ones to actually plant them. Once the trees reach about 6 foot in height, they are relocated to the parks by volunteers. Each person who registers will receive a happy little 5k t–shirt, medal, and bib.
To register you can visit Michigan.gov/dnrhappylittletrees.