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


Unchoking wild Pasadena’s wildlife choke points: Larry Wilson





Larry Wilson


Pasadena Star-News


A satellite photo shows choke points along the Hahamongna to Tujunga wildlife corridor.

If you were a mountain lion, and perhaps you are, or a bear, or a bobcat, or just a plain ol’ possum, you wouldn’t have to go to the satellite photo, as I do, to see where the vulnerable choke points are along the Hahamongna to Tujunga wildlife corridor.

You would be living them every day. Or more likely, every night, when most of your wildlife does its wild thing.

That corridor, as named by the human beings, actually begins in the Arroyo Seco well south of the Hahamongna area alongside the Pasadena Freeway in the open space known as Debs Park, east of Mount Washington. It would be a long nocturnal haul, but a fast critter could trot up the Arroyo from there past the par-3 golf course in South Pasadena and the San Pascual stables, giving the horses a bit of a scare if it were big or stinky enough, all the way past the Rose Bowl, onto the pleasant stretch that is Brookside Golf Course, maybe snacking on one of the dozens of Canada geese that have made their home there.

This June. 22, 2016 photo released by the National Park Service shows mountain lion kitten siblings P-50, P-51 and P-52 in the eastern Santa Susana Mountains. (National Park Service via AP)

If you were heading, for reasons of your own, toward the mouth of Tujunga Canyon, and didn’t want to have to get through or over Devil’s Gate Dam, you might hang a left at the top of Brookside, the pleasant 12th hole of the No. 2 course, and go straight up Cottonwood Canyon toward Chevy Chase.

And there would be your first choke point. Though the fabulous Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy is in the process of buying 11 acres of open land there from some old Pasadena families, including the Millikans, to keep it from development, once you near the Glendale border things get a little civilized for a big animal’s tastes. You might end up famous, like your bear buddy Meatball, who lived in the neighborhood, but you’re not after famous. You just want to be left alone.

Toward that end, I was pleased to see that earlier this month the Disney Conservation Fund — motto for its 20th year: “Announcing our future focused on reversing the decline of threatened wildlife and increasing the time kids spend in nature” — has awarded the Conservancy $25,000 to support the research portion of its Hahamongna to Tujunga Wildlife Corridor Project.

The project will collect data in hopes of preserving a wildlife movement corridor connecting the Arroyo and the San Gabriel mountains to Tujunga Canyon through the San Rafael hills and Verdugo mountains.

The award is a testament to the grant-writing work of the Conservancy’s Barbara Goto, with help from Sharon Scull, Kristeen Penrod, John Wros, Mickey Long, Tim Martinez and Johanna Turner. Congratulations to all. Turner, for instance, a wildlife tracker who documents mountain lion movement patterns and health in advance of collaring the cats for research, will oversee camera placement and advise on education surrounding species movement through the corridor. And Martinez, a native plants expert, will train and supervise volunteers who assist in restoration and research.

Interested in getting involved in opening up the wildlife choke points? Just drop me a line.