73 years ago, when John Hanson moved to North Rosedale Park, things looked a little different in the neighborhood. Mr. Hanson remembers Contra Dancing at the Clubhouse – also known as the Community House – and walking just a few short blocks to local Cooke Elementary. He was six years old when he moved into his home on Bretton Drive where he continues to live today.

Though seemingly quiet at first glance, for those of us who are fortunate enough to know Mr. Hanson, he is the neighborhood philosopher and historian, master gardener and go-to volunteer for beautification projects. The first time we met, I walked away with an armful of fresh rhubarb and a promise of pie.

His generous spirit has made Mr. Hanson a steady fixture at all events related to the Stahelin Avenue Project, a multi-lot initiative which is transforming once-blighted properties into maintained green pockets. When asked what motivates him to continue working as hard as he does, Mr. Hanson will tell you, “It’s all about making contact and connecting with other people.” He says that this is how we achieve any sort of progress as a community, as a neighborhood.

North Rosedale Park resident, James Murphy, describes Mr. Hanson’s work ethic and selflessness when it comes to the community:

“John Hanson is a very reliable volunteer. He is always willing to lend a hand on cleanups. Not only does he help his neighbors on Bretton, but he keeps the Island between Avon and Warwick clean and nice.”

Mr. Hanson wouldn’t have it any other way. With a few years of retirement under his belt, he knows the importance of remaining active and going outside for both body and spirit. An observant and naturally curious individual, he’s full of insightful bits of wisdom. You might be lucky enough to catch a few if you take a moment to listen.


Thank you, Mr. Hanson, for all that you do. We are privileged to call you our neighbor and Community Champion!