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 Revisited







Mendolonium Blog


On Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Arroyo Verde awards presented by the Arroyo Seco Foundation to “recognize those who have made a valuable contribution to protecting and improving the Arroyo Seco watershed and our local communities during the past year”. It was an honor to attend, not only as an observer, but as one of the “Hahamongna Bloggers” honored with “Best Advocacy” for our blitz of posts in support of preserving Hahamonga Watershed Park. I would like to think that we were one wheel of the driving force of community that convinced the Pasadena City Council to scrap plans to build one of the proposed athletic fields in Hahamonga. I remember sitting at that City Council meeting late into the night feeling uplifted by the dozens of voices in support of preserving Hahamonga. That night featured representatives from the Arroyo Seco foundation, students from Pasadena City College, bloggers, parents, and concerned community members all speaking with one voice. Not a single person, other than a couple of the City Council members, spoke in favor of further developing Hahamonga. I had much the same feeling at the Arroyo Verde awards; in a room full of dozens of people who all had worked to preserve and restore the Arroyo.

As I listened to the impressive work done by so many; kids cleaning the river and restoring habitat, a public official fighting for public access to the river channel, volunteers devoting hours of work it struck me how difficult the mission of the Arroyo Seco Foundation really is. No matter how tirelessly we all work to preserve the Arroyo the job will never be done. In Southern California there is, simply, not much open space left. There will always be those that view undeveloped space as something empty needing to be filled; if not with soccer fields than with homes or businesses or parking lots. They don’t see the value in being able to go for a hike just a few miles from our homes in Pasadena and be so surrounded by willows and the sound of running water that we could imagine ourselves outside of civilization. They don’t see the value in a child laughing with glee as they discover a bevy of tiny frogs in the bushes. They don’t see the value in a thriving ecosystem that supports not only small prey, but large predators such as bobcat and mountain lion. They don’t see the value in acres of open space for the water to percolate back down through the rock to recharge our ancient aquifers.

But thanks to the work of those who do see the value in healthy, natural rivers Hahamongna and the Arroyo Seco at large, are less at risk than they were last year. Hopefully if we all keep up the fight we’ll manage to not only halt development in the Arroyo but return the watershed to a more natural state than when we found it.