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.

Hahamongna News


Contract approved in Pasadena's dam project





Brian Charles, Staff Writer


Pasadena Star-News


The Devil's Gate reservoir basin, including the Devil's Gate Dam and Hahamonga Watershed Natural Park in Pasadena, will have an Environmental Impact Report. (Staff file photo)

PASADENA - The City Council on Monday approved a $356,000 no-bid contract for Willdan and Associates to draft an environmental report for the excavation of sediment in the Hahamongna Watershed behind Devil's Gate Dam.
Professional services such as drafting environmental documents can bypass the competitive bidding process, Pasadena City Engineer Dan Ricks said.

Willdan's prior experience with the city also helped the firm land the job, Ricks said.

"There was kind of a list of potential consultants through the planning department and since Willdan did work through the master plan they were familiar with this area," Ricks said. "This is something that is done quite often for consulting services."

The caked up sediment behind the dam has been clogging up the works, increasing the likelihood that debris could tumble over the top of the dam and flow south into the Arroyo Seco and points south.

Devil's Gate, which was built in the Arroyo Seco in 1920 as the county's first flood control dam, was last cleaned out in 1993.

The 2009 Station Fire only compounded the issue of backed up debris and sediment, Pasadena Public Works officials said.

The move by the City Council pushes forward the city's plan to use sediment excavated by Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to expand the multipurpose field at the adjacent Sycamore Grove, improve the Westside Perimeter trail and restore Berkshire Creek, Ricks said.

"Our project is right next to (Hahamongna) and we need so many thousands of cubic yards to raise the grade for our project," Ricks said.

A second draft environmental report by Willdan will measure the impact of hauling in sediment from outside of the watershed to grade the field and restore the trails.

But questions still remain as to whether the sediment will be suitable for the field and opposition to developing a park remains strong, said Don Bremner, Hahamongna Watershed Park advisory committee and Pasadena Sierra Club executive committee member.

"There has been considerable opposition to the soccer field and that has come up at various points," Bremner said. "In the summer 2010, the City Council questioned whether to go ahead with the soccer field."

The field was part of the master plan. After a vote to nix the soccer field ended in a 4-4 City Council stalemate, the field stayed in the master plan.

Opponents say the field is not compatible with the surroundings in Sycamore Grove.

"It's in a semi-natural area and this would take several acres of land that many people think should remain in a semi-natural state," Bremner said. "It would bring in more traffic for soccer games."

Ultimately, the city's plans will need to be coordinated with the county's efforts to remove the sediment from behind the dam, Bremner said.

"The question remains whether the timing lines up," he said. "Will the county be taking the sediment out at the same time that the city will be putting in fill sediment for the new project."

Neither the city or the county have announced a timeline for their proposed projects.
626-578-6300, ext. 4494