Community Interview: Dogs Are Changing the Glassell Park Community

Youth Voices is working with students from the Los Angeles River School to re-imagine the L.A. River and the surrounding communities as part of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative. The student teams are exploring and investigating their communities by mapping assets, conducting outreach, and collecting stories through interviews with local residents and experts. Follow their work here and on Twitter and Instagram at #kcetyv.


"Bark, bark, bark!" is what you hear in Glassell Park. Our community cause is to improve the empty lot on Fletcher Drive and Avenue 35, Los Angeles, 90065 and turn it into a dog park. We chose to focus on this lot because its has been empty and filling up with trash so much that someone had to do something about it. That someone is us. As we outreach to the community, they agree more and more with the idea of a dog park. We believe this is important because dog owners don't have much space for their dog to run and socialize with other dogs. This dog park will give them that chance.

The person whom I interviewed is Joshelin Demetrio. She cares deeply for animals and she would love to see a dog park in her community. I chose Joshelin for this interview because she is my sister and she is a good representative of young adults who have dogs in our community. She is familiar with the empty lot and is a supporter of our group's cause to convert the lot in to a dog park. She feels the the empty lot is an an eyesore and the next nearest dog park is about a mile away in Sliver Lake area. Joshelin would like to be involved in the cause because she cares for her dogs greatly. Dogs will unite all types of people in the community no matter what their native language is.

Here's what she had to say:

How long have you lived in the Glassell Park area?
About 12 years or so, I used to live in MacArthur Park, then we moved because my dad's family was over here.

How long have you had your dog?
I had Daisy since I was 15 years old.

How did you find Daisy?
My grandma's dog was chasing her one day in the street, and my dad separated the two so they wouldn't fight. So I ask my dad if I could keep her and the rest is history.

Have you ever been to a dog park before?
No.

If there was a dog park in the area, would you go to it?
Yes, so Daisy can make new friends.

What would you like to see in a dog park?
A safe environment where my dog can roam free, a place where everything is prepared.

What do you think will draw more people to the park?
A grand opening where some goodies are passed out for the dog owners.

What will continue to draw more people?
A friendly environment where it's safe for my dog and I. Also the local businesses that are really close where people can get a quick bite.

In the dog park, should we divide it between big and small parks?
Yes because some dogs are very aggressive and territorial. I know not all dogs are like that, but you have to play it safe.

Is there any other safety issues that concerns you with a dog park?
The traffic, because some dogs can get out and the cars can't stop in time. The size of the fence, to prevent some dogs from jumping over the fence.

How long do you think it will last if there is a dog park?
If the neighborhoods really love it, then it should be able to sustain itself.

The empty lot on Fletcher and Ave. 35 that Team Raul DMZ are hoping to convert into a dog park. | Photo: Google Maps

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