December 2002 -- As the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council is forming, informal discussions began among several participants from Hermon, Montecito Heights, and Mount Washington about the desire to locate a dog park in Hermon.
February 20, 2003 -- At a meeting in Hermon, the city's Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) accepts a community proposal to change the name of the Arroyo Seco Park located off Via Marisol to "Hermon Park in the Arroyo Seco" in time for the community's centennial celebration that summer. Discussions also begin with elected officials regarding placing the first city dog park in Northeast L.A. within Hermon.
May 22, 2003 -- City Council District 14 officials and RAP staff members meet with interested parties to measure community support for the dog park in Hermon -- support was overwhelming.
June 24, 2003 -- Outgoing Councilmember Nick Pacheco lists Hermon Dog Park in his transition memo as a funded project ready for review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
July 1, 2004 -- New Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa, in his 12-month report lists Hermon Dog Park among his staff's accomplishments.
January 2005 -- RAP's CEQA report finds "no significant unavoidable adverse impacts associated with the project."
April 29, 2005 -- Groundbreaking for the first dog park in Northeast Los Angeles.
July 16, 2005 -- Grand opening of the Hermon Dog Park.
September 30, 2005 -- Friends of Hermon Dog Park, now a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, is organized by original members of the Hermon Dog Park Formation Committee nearly three years after work began to place a dog park here.
July 2006 -- Friends of Hermon Dog Park's original logo was printed on T-shirts and membership sign-up began.
June 2010 -- In celebration of Dog Fancy Magazine's 40th Anniversary, the magazine named the country's top 40 parks and Hermon Dog Park was ranked 7th nationwide, and was one of two top 10 parks in California.
Present -- Hundreds of Dogs and Cats have been adopted through various Friends of Hermon Dog Park events in these seven years, and countless dogs have been spay/neutered since inception.
Kathryn Spofford, President
Kathryn "Kat" Spofford was born in Houston, Texas. Her uncle, a veterinarian, presented her with her first Terrier. She grew to love all dogs but especially terriers and she's owned 6 terrier breeds over the years.
She moved to Los Angeles soon after she married and she and her husband currently reside in Highland Park with their two dogs, Henley and Spencer. Both of their dogs are CGC certified and working actors. As Kat says, "They bring me smiles everyday. I rescued Henley and Spencer from The Houston Sheltie Sanctuary in Houston 5 years ago. They are half Shetland Sheepdog, half Jack Russell Terrier. The dogs know around 30 tricks!"
After moving to Highland Park in 2008, Kat's first order of business was to find a dog park near her home. Kat says, "I discovered Hermon Dog Park and became a member soon after."
Sherry Uribe, Secretary
Sherry Uribe has been a long time resident of the El Sereno area living with her husband, 3 children, 3 dogs and 3 cats. She has served on various committees at her children's schools and currently works for the County of Los Angeles Public Library. Her children have been active in the sports programs offered at El Sereno Park. She enjoys reading, gardening, and meeting others that share her love of pets and their well being.
Ursula Brown, Treasurer
Ursula Brown immigrated to the U.S. in 1966 from Germany via Mexico, Costa Rica, and Central America. She was raised near her grandparents farm post-World War II. She owned a Property Management/Real Estate office and her home in Highland Park includes ducks, chickens, birds, dogs, and cats-all abandoned by their owners.
Animal welfare has always been close to her heart, from her childhood spent with farm animals to seeing how some people neglect or abandon their animals when they move. In an effort to advance animal welfare and contribute to a better community, Ursula originally spearheaded the effort to establish an off-leash dog park in Eagle Rock. Unable to locate suitable land in Eagle Rock, but with solid support from city agencies, the cause was picked up by the community of Hermon who successfully carried it to completion.
Ursula's professional and community affiliations are: Member of Northeast L.A./Glendale Board of Realtors; Fraternal Order of the Eagles Auxiliary; Eagle Rock Lions Club; Eagle Rock Center for the Arts; B.L.E.N.D.; Damenchor Frohsinn; Officer, Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce; Board Member, Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful; Board Member, Northeast Awareness Team (NEAT).
Linda Torn, Director
Family legend has it that Linda Torn pushed her first cat around in a baby stroller and squealed with delight when her dog gave birth to "gophers". She's been surrounded by dogs and cats ever since. An ardent advocate of TNR animal rescue, she's bottle-fed orphaned kittens and found homes for a variety of strays.
Her current brood is small at one dog, Roxie, and two cats, Holly and Vivian. A native of Southern California and long time resident of Montecito Heights, she is an administrator for a children's health program.
Silvia Lomeli, Director
Silvia has lived in Montecito Heights since '07, and enjoys bringing her pack to hermon dog park for exercise and socialization. She appreciates the role of dogs in the development of modern human society, and feels its our human responsibility to make sure these furry angels are taken care of properly.
Nancy Nickerson, Past Co-President
Nancy Nickerson is a past Co-President of Friends of Hermon Dog Park (2009 - 2014). She is a producer and project manager of web and digital media, and a variety of projects and events. She is a lifelong animal lover who shares her Mt. Washington home with an exuberant terrier mix (Bark Avenue Foundation rescue and graduate of K9 Connection) and friendly tabby cat (Lacy St. rescue).
Wendi Riser, Past President and Co-President
Wendi Riser was president and co-president of the Friends of Hermon Dog Park from its inception until June of 2012. A life-long resident and advocate for the community of Hermon, Wendi has spearheaded beautification and safety efforts, organized a day-long festival celebrating Hermon's 100-year anniversary of joining the City of Los Angeles, and was honored in August of 2012 by Jose Huizar as the CD14 2012 Pioneer Woman of the Year.
Wendi Riser has lived in Hermon nearly her entire life. She began working with Donnette Thayer, our city councilmember, and the Department of Recreation & Parks in early 2003 to get the Hermon Dog Park approved in concept and then saw it through to its completion in July of 2005.
Wendi has spearheaded many other Hermon community projects as well -- such as getting over 100 new trees planted in Hermon's parkways, medians, hillsides and home gardens, getting students to design 2003 centennial street light post banners, the creation of the beautiful Hermon monument sign and managing the city grant that funded it. Wendi writes a fun and quirky e-newsletter "All Things Hermon" with info on things happening in and around the historic little community.
The Hermon Advance Team (HAT), the service organization of Hermon, was founded by Wendi and others in 2004. It includes the monthly "Clean Team"-- a group of neighbors that clean the parkways and bridges, as well as a bi-annual community bulky item collection. HAT also sponsors quarterly meetings of the Hermon Safety Committee, a community-wide neighborhood watch to proactively address and prevent crime.
Lezle Stein, Past Co-President
A graduate of Animal Behavior and Training College, Lezle Stein is AKC-certified as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers as well as a member of the Southern California Dog Trainers Forum.
Lezle's extensive experience also includes American Red Cross certification in Pet First Aid and CPR. She has also participated with her own dog, Lucie Bell, in obedience, agility and shepherding training.
Lezle was the volunteer adoption counselor & dog rehabilitator for Downtown Dog Rescue, Los Angeles ' rescue group for homeless people & low-income people and their dogs for many years. A firm believer in community involvement Lezle, was also the Director of Animal Welfare for the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council. She was selected by Councilman Jose Huizar, to sit on the board of The Los Angeles City Council Spay & Neuter Committee. Lezle has written dog training advise columns for the Highland Park News, Glassell Park News and the Mt. Washington Association. She has also studied with Dr. Nancy Scanlon, who specializes in holistic veterinary medicine through acupuncture and herbs.
Lezle continues her education through frequent seminars and training with her own dogs doing fun nose work (scent detection) and agility too!
2013 Annual Co-President's Report from Friends of Hermon Dog Park
2013 was a great year for the Friends of Hermon Dog Park. We hosted a variety of events and expanded our community of members, newsletter subscribers and Facebook friends (almost 700!). We sponsored adoption and spay/neuter events and hosted Pet Ed seminars and "Yappy Hours". We also shepherded maintenance projects at the park and laid the groundwork for a successful new year.
At the park we:
We hosted "Yappy Hours" on the last Sunday of every month that included
We sponsored two "Pet Eds" free seminars at Yappy Hour
We supported Adoption:
We supported Spay/Neuter:
On December first we marched down Figueroa St. in Highland Park as the "Santa Paws Squad". This was the fifth year in a row we participated in the Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade. This year we even had a sleigh. The weather was beautiful, and the dogs and their owners had a blast in their holiday attire.
Our long-time supporter, Woof Dog Boutique in Atwater Village, donated designer dog clothes and accessories that helped us raise money throughout the year.
Our volunteers are the heart of our organization –we had great support this year from many old friends and some wonderful new friends including the Academia Avance charter school and Girl Scout Troop 1955. We are truly grateful for all the help we received and know that we could not succeed without all of you. We are also grateful to our many donors who help keep us going.
Our plans for next year include a Pet Emergency Preparedness Pet Ed seminar and another visit from the Amanda Foundation Spaymobile along with our Yappy Hours and signature events. We welcome your suggestions for activities and events. Because it’s all about the dogs…
Nancy Nickerson & Kat Spofford
Copyright 2005-2013 Friends of Hermon Dog Park