Run for the Trees! ODNR’s Happy Little (Virtual) 5K supports Ohio state parks

Press Staff Writer

        For the second straight year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering an invitation to run, walk, roll or paddle to complete a Run for the Trees: Happy Little (Virtual) 5K this spring.
        Inspired by the late artist Bob Ross and his love for the beauty of nature, the 3.1-mile virtual event will take place between Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 26). Participants can complete the 5K on foot or by bike, skate, paddle or mobility device at any pace and any place outdoors.
        “Ohio has so many beautiful outdoor places to enjoy,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “By participating in this 5K, Ohioans can take in those amazing sights while also contributing to its preservation for future generations.”
        Registration is $36 and participants will receive a Happy Little T-shirt, a commemorative bib number and a finisher’s medal. Registration is encouraged by March 1 for these items to be delivered in time for the event. Registration closes April 1.
        Ohio is one of nine states participating in this year’s event. Participants will be prompted to select a state to represent during registration. Ohio State Parks will receive $10 for each person who selects “Ohio” upon signing up.       Those who are interested can sign up by visiting the Happy Little 5K registration webpage at
        Proceeds support tree planting and forest protection efforts, like invasive plant and forest pest management and early detection surveys. Since its inception in 2004, the Happy Little 5K program has enabled the planting of more than 100,000 native plants, shrubs and trees.
        To find out more details about Ohio’s State Parks and the various activities available at them, visit and follow Ohio State Parks on Facebook and Instagram.


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