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

Title:

Critics oppose Hahamongna Park plan

Subtitle:

Soccer field at the watershed park gets thumbs down from public at meeting, citing environmental concerns.

Date:

2012-07-14

Author:

Mercedes Aguilar, Special to the Sun

Publication:

Pasadena Sun

Content:


Officials hope to build a soccer field and improve trails at Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena on the border of La Canada Flintridge. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / July 5, 2012)

Conservationists, disc golfers and other lovers of Hahamongna Watershed Park told Pasadena city officials Thursday night that they don't like a proposed $5.7-million renovation project at the 300-acre site above Devil's Gate Dam.

City officials hope to build a new sports field, add parking and improve trails and native habitat on the west side of the park.

While representatives of youth athletics leagues have said there is a demand for more sports facilities in the area, none of the 70 or so people who came out for Thursday's meeting at Salvation Army Fellowship Hall backed the Hahamongna plan.

Laura Garrett, conservation chair for the Pasadena Audubon Society, said it is misleading for proponents to say that the project would restore habitat. City plans call for raising some trails so they do not flood at times of high water behind the dam, and for planting native species in nearby areas.

Garrett said adding parking and a soccer field in what is now open space is likely to displace birds and wildlife.

“That's what they call habitat restoration, but it's more like habitat destruction,” she said.

Garrett and other residents said that they are not against organized sports, but that it would be better to build fields on empty lots instead of disturbing Hahamongna.

La Cañada Flintridge open-space enthusiast Mary Barrie said that the maps of the project don't clearly explain how new trails would connect to existing ones, and that the language in the city's proposal is difficult for the public to understand.

Other concerns voiced by more than 20 speakers included the prospect of increased noise and traffic levels if the project goes through.

Loren Pluth, project manager with the Pasadena Department of Public Works, said he anticipated youth sports advocates and city officials who favor the plan likely will get involved as the study continues.

The plan, he said, “truly represents the compromise with a lot of stakeholder groups … including groups representing the natural environment, groups representing the equestrian community and groups representing the sports community.”

If approved, the revamp would begin in 2014.

The proposal calls for relocation of four holes in Hahamongna's disc golf course.

John Chavez, a Temple City resident and a member of the disc golfer group Wingers, said a new sports field would likely diminish the experience for him and other Frisbee golfers.

City planners, he said, “aren't looking at what we do when we show up here when they are making changes like this.”

A second meeting was held Saturday, and documents explaining the project are available at Pasadena libraries and at www.hahamongna.com/mbmu.

John Bellas, a consultant with Willdan Engineering who is working on the city's environmental impact report, said public comments and details regarding the proposal's impact on aesthetics, biological and cultural resources and noise levels would be included in the draft report that will be completed in September.

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in again after that report is complete.