The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

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Hahamongna News

HWPAC to Council: Reconsider Playing Fields

March 24, 2010 - After a long and vigorous debate, the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee (HWPAC) last night approved a letter to the Pasadena City Council urging them to reconsider their 2003 decision to place athletic fields and a parking lot in the middle of the Hahamongna flood basin at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Pasadena city staff is now moving forward with planning "Sycamore Grove Field," a large multi-purpose athletic field and a parking lot to the east of the current Oak Grove field and parking lot in Hahamongna Watershed Park. The field would be suitable for one adult sized soccer field or two youth fields. The parking lot would provide for an additional twenty five cars.

Patsy Lane, Pasadena's recreaton director, presented a report on athletic field use and demand in Pasadena to the committee, reporting that there was significant competition for the thirty-one fields that now exist in Pasadena. Representatives of American Youth Soccer Organization and other active sports users made statements about the need for additional playing fields and that the lack of fields was limiting their programs.

An all-star cast of local environmental activists rose to challenge the 2003 decision and to criticize anything that would despoil the wildlands in Hahamongna. Speakers included Marrietta Kruels, Lori Paul, Laura Garrett, Mary Barrie, George Rossman, Meredith McKenzie, Tim Brick, Marialyce Peterson, and Steve Lamb. The speakers addressed the rare environmental values at Hahamongna and pointed out that there are better locations for athletic fields in neighborhoods and at schools more accessible to the athletes. Tim Brick announced that the Arroyo Seco Foundation has posted a new "Save Hahamongna" website and initiated a petition campaign to urge the city council to reverse its 2003 action.

After these passionate statements, HWPAC began to consider their action. At their previous meting, the committee had approved a motion to seek Council direction on reviewing the appropriateness of the fields in a natural area. Tim Wendler, chair of the committee, now presented a letter to the Council asking them to reconsider the decision. His letter included some motivating issues that justified a new look at the plan, such as the city's adoption of green goals and establishment of an Open Space Task Force and an Environmental Task Force since 2003. Committee member Thom Mrozek, who had made the motion at the previous meeting, presented a more stripped down letter, which left out any rationale for reconsideration of the issues.

Committee members stated their preferences and then engaged in some tortured word-smithing. After considerable discussion, the committee removed some of the motivating language and approved Wendler's letter with three dissenting votes. The letter will now be forwarded to the mayor and city council for their consideration.

If you would like to get involved in protecting the natural character of Hahamongna, please sign the Save Hahamongna petition.