Inspired by “Happy Painter” Bob Ross’ love of the outdoors, Indiana State Parks and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF) are partnering with the Michigan DNR to stage the virtual Run for the Trees / Happy Little (Virtual) 5K between Earth Day and Arbor Day.

The virtual event was started in 2020 by the Michigan DNR, which is inviting other states to participate this year. In Indiana, proceeds will be used to fund projects at Indiana State Parks related to forest health, tree planting, invasive species removal, and other stewardship-related projects through the INRF.

Participants, who will be encouraged to do the run outdoors, if possible, between Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 28), will receive a keepsake Happy Little T-shirt, a commemorative race bib number, and a finisher’s medal, similar to what participants in an in-person event traditionally get. The registration fee of $34 also includes shipping and handling.

To learn more and sign up by the deadline of March 1, see runsignup.com/happytrees, where you can also make additional donations to the cause.