By Mary O’KEEFE
The community is invited to what will be a “howling” good time at CV Park.
For the last three years, important global and domestic issues have been discussed, networking skills have been honed and friendships have been formed – both human and canine.
In 2012, the CV Dog Park in Crescenta Valley Park was open to the public. The park was and is the only one of its kind in Los Angeles County. On Saturday, Oct. 17, L.A. Parks and Recreation is inviting the public to celebrate the third anniversary of the CV Dog Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Park officials conducted surveys throughout the year to see how the public feels about the park and how many use the facility.
“They love it,” said Abel Garnica, CV Park supervisor, adding that the park averages over 100 dogs on weekends.
The dog park was funded through Proposition A, also known as the Safe Neighborhood Parks Proposition of 1996, which provides funds for “parks and recreation projects and additional funds for maintenance and servicing of those projects,” according to Kaye Michaelson, special assistant for L.A. County Dept. of Parks and Recreation. Other Prop A projects include improvements made to Two Strike Park such as construction of a new restroom, benches and ADA accessibility, and improvements to Loma Alta Park where a new gymnasium and increased parking were constructed.
The 1.5-acre space of the Crescenta Valley Dog Park features drinking fountains, dog washing stations, decomposed granite and woodchip surfacing, benches and shade coverings, a $120,000 ADA accessible path from the dog park to the restroom, solar powered security lighting and an integrated water collection channel.
The park was spearheaded by members of CV DOGS (Community Volunteers for Dogs Off-Leash Gathering and Socializing); the dog park concept drew support through rigorous petitioning. Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office funded the $645,000 project.
“My staff was able to identify the funding and work with our partners at Parks and Recreation, the CV town council and L.A. Conservation Corps to provide this wonderful park,” said Antonovich. “We’re very proud of their dedication. We’re very proud that the community now has another opportunity for their dogs to have their day in the park, just as we’ve been able to have our days in the park for many years.”
There were a few dog owners who did not like the set of rules listed for the CV Dog Park, according to Marina Dahlen, one of the dog park volunteer leaders. But some may argue the rules are what have made the park one of the more popular ones in the area.
Some dog owners drive from Pasadena, Tujunga and even Simi Valley to bring their dogs to the CV Park.
“As volunteers at the park we keep an eye on the rules and make certain they are not broken,” Dahlen said.
But they should not be considered the “dog park police;” often the volunteers do not say anything to dog owners when they see issues.
“We will pick up after the dogs sometimes,” Dahlen said.
There are times when she has cleaned up after dogs when their owners didn’t and it is not only volunteers who clean – several dog owners watch for others at the park and work to keep the park clean.
It is a camaraderie that seems to be the foundation of the dog park. The dog park forges friendships among dog owners who might not normally have the chance to sit down and talk and gives people the chance to catch up with friends they haven’t seen in a while.
Overall Dahlen said the response from dog owners is positive.
“I think they are really happy,” she said.
The Oct. 17 celebration will include several dog-friendly booths, presentations and giveaways.
“We are going to have 22 vendors,” Garnica said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad will bring its canine unit, there will be an emergency preparedness booth that focuses on how to get your dog ready for any disaster, and a dog grooming school from Pasadena will be answering questions and demonstrating grooming techniques.
Faye Pietrokowsky, who was at last year’s anniversary celebration, will once again share her skills as an animal communication consultant.
“We are also having a CV Finest dog [contest],” Garnica said.
There will be food trucks there for pet parents and several booths will have treats for dogs as well.
The event is free for the community.
CV Dog Park is located in CV Park at 3901 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta.