Hansi Johnson

Advocate & Adventurer


Winona, Minnesota


Thomson, Minnesota

Hansi is a dad, an advocate, and an adventurer. Prior to his current position as the Director of Recreational Lands for the Minnesota Land Trust, Hansi was the regional director for the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and spent time working with communities and volunteers to create quality, sustainable trail experiences for Midwestern mountain bikers. He spent his early years hunting, paddling and fishing which has since developed into a career and a personal devotion to outdoor recreation and open space conservation in his home state of Minnesota.

What are your three favorite places to play in the midwest?

  • Copper Harbor, Michigan
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Winona, Minnesota

Can you elaborate on the importance of introducing community based recreation to the midwest and beyond?

First and foremost, we now know unequivocally that when people play in nature it is good for their mental and physical health. People who go outside live longer and enjoy a better quality of life. Also, creating connections to the general population around why nature is good for them creates a voice around protecting those places in for the future. The biggest challenge in community based recreation is trying to figure out how to allow access to the special outdoor spaces we love to all walks of life, all income levels and all people....and that challenge is ongoing.

What does Let The Outside In mean to you?

It is about how going outside can change your life in constructive ways like health, wellness and mental confidence, but also its about creating positive influence our communities.