Why Bob Ross’ ‘Happy Little Trees’ Are Popping Up In State Parks
Bob Ross' famous saying 'happy little trees' has taken on a literal meaning in select Michigan State Parks.
As part of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the State Park system, the Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with Bob Ross, Inc. to provide some parks with Bob's catch phrase 'happy little trees'.
The late Ross, whose famed how-to-paint program aired for years on PBS nationwide, left some of his estate to provide trees to parks around the country, and the program has made its way to Michigan.
Inspired by the state parks centennial, the DNR and Bob Ross Inc. are partnering on Happy Little Trees by renaming the state’s “prison grow” program in which prisoners who’ve been successful in the Department of Corrections career and technical education program get the opportunity to learn horticulture practices and help raise trees for use in reforestation efforts, including plantings at state parks. The program takes local native seeds, collected by volunteers, and those seeds are used to raise similar genotype trees grown specifically for replanting at state parks in the same region – that's important because replacement trees with similar genetics are much more likely to survive and thrive.
The program will put trees into Yankee Springs Recreation Area on Gun Lake, Orchard Beach State Park near Manistee and Port Crescent State Park in the Thumb.
To volunteer to help plant the seedlings, contact the DNR here.