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


Dame Goodall has birthday in San Marino





Mary Bender


Pasadena Star News


SAN MARINO -- World-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall celebrated her 70th birthday Saturday -- not with her beloved chimpanzees in Tanzania, or in her native England, but at the onetime estate of Henry Huntington. Hundreds of spectators made Goodall feel right at home, greeting her with a chimp call'' that echoed around the wooded perimeters of the Australian Garden, followed by a parade of homemade peace doves'' and a chorus of bells.

Goodall came to San Marino to take part in the Roots & Shoots Festival, a daylong event held at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Roots & Shoots, a worldwide program with 4,000 clubs in 70 countries, was founded by Goodall to promote environmental and wildlife conservation through service projects.

What an amazing birthday!'' she said, greeting several hundred people assembled on the Australian Garden's vast lawn. Earlier, six members of the Gabrielino Tongva Tribal Council had welcomed Goodall with a series of Native-American dances and chants that, one joked, may have prompted a brief, light afternoon sprinkle.

I suppose the heavens sending down the rain is a good thing. You need the rain,'' Goodall said as her rapt audience opened umbrellas and zipped up jackets. The festival began with conservation-themed exhibits by dozens of Roots & Shoots clubs. Goodall toured the displays, quizzing the schoolchildren about their projects and posing for a slew of pictures with the young environmentalists who told her they've been inspired by her life's work.

Goodall embarked on her study of chimpanzees in 1960, when she went to the African nation to work with famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. She has spent her life -- at the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania -- studying the endangered primates, advocating on behalf of them and protecting their shrinking habitat.

Chimpanzees can learn more than 400 signs in sign language, she told the crowd.

The author of numerous books, Goodall was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace'' in 2002 by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. She also received the female equivalent of knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, who in 2003 named Goodall a Dame of the British Empire.

Pasadena fifth-grader John Garrett, a member of Hahamongna Roots & Shoots, told Goodall about his club's bake sale that raises money to help three endangered birds: the California condor, the whooping crane, and the California gnatcatcher.

There once were only 15'' whooping cranes, explained John, 10, who also belongs to the Pasadena Audobon Society.

Hahamongna Roots & Shoots members perform clean-ups in Eaton Canyon, and have begun a fund-raiser to help a San Gabriel Valley charity. We're building a playhouse, raffling it off, and then we're going to give the money to Habitat For Humanity,'' said Pasadena fifth-grader Emma Manning, 11.

A Roots & Shoots club from Huntington Middle School in San Marino collects dog food and blankets, donating them to the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society's animal shelter, said club member Maddy Wojdak , 12. The San Marino students also held a coin drive, raising $175 to adopt'' two acres of coral reef in Costa Rica, said Maddy, a Huntington seventh-grader.

In her address, Goodall cheered such grass-roots efforts, telling the youths that they can protect the planet by taking even small steps, like conserving water or turning off lights when they leave a room. People often ask me: ‘How do you find the energy to travel around the world for 300 days a year?' It's because of groups like this,'' Goodall said.

-- Mary Bender can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4456 or by e-mail at