Sullivan County Democrat
June 18, 2018
By Isabel Braverman - staff writer
ELDRED - The Town of Highland community is joining together to work on the Hickok Brook State Park in honor of JJ Hanson. The Highland Town Board announced at its monthly meeting that plans are underway.
The Hickok Brook Multiple Use Area is managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The town board entered into an agreement with the DEC, called a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement, where volunteers can work on the park.
The group plans to update the trails and clear them of debris. The park is mostly used for hunting as the trails are in rough shape. They will also create a new trail that will be a three-mile loop. There will be new signage and the park will likely be named after JJ Hanson.
Council member Kaitlin Haas said the park is in line with how Hanson lived his life. After being diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)(terminal brain cancer) in 2014,
he dedicated his life to health and wellness and also helping others.
In 2016, he launched the Can't Hurt Steel Community Foundation, a component of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties, with the mission of providing assistance to community members in their times of need.
Hanson was also President of the Patients' Rights Action Fund, a board member for Voices Against Brain Cancer, was on the Sullivan County Charter Commission, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a past board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Orange and Sullivan Counties, a volunteer firefighter with the Yulan Fire Department, Stone Ridge Fire Department, and Pensacola Fire Department, as well as an avid outdoorsman and member of the Beaverbrook Rod and Gun Club.
The Highland Board is looking for volunteers to begin work on the trails. Those who wish to help will have to sign up through the DEC volunteer program.
Left to right: Kaitlin Haas, Jim Hanson, Sr. and George “Bubba” Fountain present plans for the Hickok Brook Multiple Use Area that will be updated in honor of