Dresden park honors Bruce Hansen

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
A new nautically themed sign has been installed in the village of Dresden to honor the memory of Bruce I. Hansen who did so much to make the playground and other amenities like the Keuka Outlet Trail, a reality. From left, residents Bill Updike and Dale Welker, who made the sign, along with Dresden Mayor Bill Hall, who has spearheaded recent improvements at the park.

The late Bruce Hansen, one of Yates County’s, the Town of Torrey’s, and the Dresden community’s most dedicated citizens, was recently honored by the Village of Dresden, which has named their village park in his memory.

The Bruce I. Hansen Community Park, at the corner of Main and Geneva Streets, has seen many recent improvements, including updated playground equipment, picnic tables, benches, a relaid original brick sidewalk, and most recently, a hand carved, lake themed sign to commemorate all of Hansen’s many contributions to the community where he grew up.

A long-time Lions Club philanthropist, Hansen spent over 30 years and devoted much equipment and labor from his City Hill Construction Corp. to improve area parks and to create and maintain the Keuka Outlet Trail for the benefit and enjoyment of his fellow citizens.

Over 16 years ago, Hansen mobilized the Lions and local residents to create the playground for Dresden’s children. The idea to name the park for him started 14 years ago, after Hansen died from complications of diabetes, with Dresden resident Bill Updike, a good friend of Hansen’s who misses him to this very day. “I wanted something that people in Dresden would see and really remember Bruce for who he was,” says Updike.

Enlisting the help of Dale Welker, who carved and finished the sign, and with materials donated by the Dresden Masonic Lodge, Updike created a nautical themed installation of pilings and rope with a large piece of driftwood donated by Dick Brow, harkening to nearby Seneca Lake, “Because Bruce loved this lake,” says Updike.

Dresden Mayor Bill Hall has made a point of public improvements, and commends the memory and efforts of Hansen to inspire the residents of the community to take pride in their hometown.

Bruce’s widow, Joan Hansen Eldred says, “My family is very proud that Bruce has been honored, once again, for his good deeds. He especially enjoyed contributing his efforts for the kids. I took my granddaughters to the park this past summer, and I was overwhelmed with love and pride. I am sure he is looking down on his Dresden friends with love and appreciation for this recognition.”