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‘Happy Little 5K’ inspired by Bob Ross, benefit for state parks

By Patrick Lynn

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has joined a growing network of states participating in a 5K fundraiser for state parks.

The Happy Little 5K is inspired by artist Bob Ross, famous for his catchphrase, “Happy little trees” from his television show, “The Joy of Painting,” which aired on PBS from 1983-1994. Ross died in 1995.

The race is virtual, with a portion of the $34 registration fee going towards tree health and protection across the state. Participants can pick their start and finish lines for the race, and run, walk, bicycle, or use a mobility device, in competition against other people or groups.

Participants receive a Happy Little t-shirt, a commemorative bib, and a finisher’s medal. Participants pick the pace and the place, as long as it’s outdoors and racers reach the finish line between Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 28).

Suggested 5K routes at Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas will be available in January on the DNR’s OutWiGo webpage.

Registration is open until March 1, 2023.