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.
Nancy Nickerson, Co-President
Nancy Nickerson is a Web Producer and a lifelong animal lover. Although she grew up with a dog, she didn't adopt her first pet until she moved to Mt. Washington in the early nineties. As often happens, the cat actually adopted her. Since then she has had 3 other cats and finally adopted her first dog, Tilly, in 2008.
Tilly is an exuberant terrier mix who had been rescued by the Bark Avenue Foundation. While at Bark Avenue, she graduated from K9 Connection, a wonderful organization that pairs shelter dogs with at-risk teens. Tilly and Nancy subsequently graduated from Lezle Stein's "Handle With Care" basic obedience class, since Nancy had some catching up to do. Both are much better behaved now and participated in the Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walk in 2008 and 2009.
Today, Nancy and Tilly live with Tiger, a beautiful and friendly tabby adopted from Lacy Street in 2005. Tilly and Nancy can often be found in their backyard entertaining other neighborhood dogs and humans. Tiger prefers to watch from the front steps.
Kathryn Spofford, Co-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.
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.
Phyllis M. Daugherty, Advisor
Phyllis M. Daugherty, Director of Animal Issues Movement and Humane Training, has been involved in animal protection/welfare, spay/neuter and rescue/shelter work in Los Angeles since 1987. She currently produces documentaries and training films for law-enforcement and sheltering agencies on investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty and illegal animal fighting and speaks at training sessions and community event. She has been a guest columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and frequently writes on local animal control issues, animal cruelty and its connection to domestic violence, human trafficking and other crimes against humans.
In 1989, Ms. Daugherty produced a film entitled, "Early Age Spay/Neuter" in a cooperative effort with Dr. W. Marvin Mackie, showing the benefits of sterilizing pre-pubescent dogs and cats. This was followed in 2001 by a documentary called "Overcrowding California Animal Shelters" and in 2003 by "Investigating and Prosecuting Illegal Animal Fighting", which presented the steps needed to successfully prepare animal cruelty and illegal fighting cases for court. Her latest films are "How to Start and Run a Spay/Neuter Clinic" and "QuickSpay" (in which Dr. Mackie demonstrates high-volume spay/neuter methods for cats and dogs).
Phyllis has served on the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control Foundation Board since 2003. She has a BA in Social and Criminal Justice and extensive specialized training in animal control and animal-handling techniques. She is an Associate Member of the California State Humane Association and a member of the National Illegal Animal Fighting Taskforce. Ms. Daugherty is also a member of the LAPD Human Trafficking Taskforce.
Lezle Stein, Advisor
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 is the volunteer adoption counselor & dog rehabilitator for Downtown Dog Rescue, Los Angeles ' rescue group for homeless people & low-income people and their dogs for the past 8 years. A firm believer in community involvement Lezle, is also the Director of Animal Welfare for the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council. She recently 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 Lucie Bell, who has become her faithful "demo dog" companion. Also now, Lezle and her dog Jesse are involved in doing fun nose work (scent detection) and agility too!
Mark Legassie, Advisor
Mark was born in 1963 in Ashland , Maine and grew up with lots of dogs, cats, and aquarium fish. His love of animals came from his grandmother and mom, who both instilled a responsibility to care for helpless animals, especially the sick and needy.
After moving to L.A. in 1999, Mark has worked as an Arroyo Seco Board member to help homeless animals, first with a Pet Adoption Festival in August 2009 with L.A. Animal Services North Central Shelter.
Mark also founded the F.A.S.T. the Friendly Arroyo Seco Trappers www.fasttrappers.org dedicated to reducing the stray cat population in Northeast Los Angeles using the Trap-Neuter-Release methods approved by the ASPCA.
Mark joins the Adsvisory Board as the FHDP have committed to assist F.A.S.T. by being their fiduciary agent, enabling them to get more donations with our tax-exempt status, while fulfilling our mission to further humane education and assist those organizations in the animal care community.
2012 Annual President's Report from Friends of Hermon Dog Park
2012 was an exciting and transitional year for the Friends of Hermon Dog Park. Our founding leader, Wendi Riser, regretfully resigned her position as Co-President. While she remains involved with our public art project, which she has shepherded from the beginning, she has passed the torch to Co-President Nancy Nickerson and new Co-President Kat Spofford. Kat has taken over as editor of “Tails…” our newsletter which now has over 500 subscribers. We have also been very active on Facebook-- we now have over 400 "likes" and about 1000 photos. Silvia Lomeli joined the FHDP board and brought her incomparable resourcefulness and enthusiasm. We continued tradition of monthly "Yappy Hours" and "Pet Ed" seminars and annual events and added some new events as well.
Here are some highlights of the past year:
It was a full year but we’re already on our way to making 2013 the best year yet! Thanks for being an active part of our canine community!
Copyright 2005-2013 Friends of Hermon Dog Park