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:

Parceling out the park

Subtitle:

Team drawing up plans for Hahamongna land

Date:

2006-05-01

Author:

Elise Kleeman, Staff Writer

Publication:

Pasadena Star-News

Content:

PASADENA - Change is afoot in the 30-acre plot of land bordering Hahamongna Watershed Park known as Hahamongna Annex.

After being sold to the city of Pasadena last June by the Metropolitan Water District, the oak-shaded parcel near La Caņada Flintridge in the upper Arroyo Seco is now in the midst of a planning process to decide its new fate.

Satisfying all the interested parties, though, could be a challenge.

The park has long been home to the equestrian group Rose Bowl Riders, to Tom Sawyer Camp, the Los Angeles County Fire Camp No. 2 and a handful of Forest Service Buildings that are now empty.

Only the fire camp - which just re-signed a 50-year lease - is guaranteed to remain.

"Our biggest concern is being able to stay," said Susie Brown, who is on the board of directors for Rose Bowl Riders, which currently holds a one-year lease on 12 acres of the land.

"We hear a lot of support; what we don't have is any City Council member in our court," she said.

Before the council has its say, though, a group of about 30 volunteers, invited to join an intensive brainstorming session by the Department of Public Works' Parks and Natural Resources Division, will put its mark on the project.

In a one-day session on May 20, those involved - called a charrette - will develop plans for different scenarios: if the tenants remained in their current locations, if their boundaries were adjusted or if they were removed.

"I'm an optimist; I think great things can come out of it and I hope they will," said Brown, who hopes that Rose Bowl Riders might even be able expand the lease.

"We'd love to add stalls and have more school programs," she said.

Others, though, are not so optimistic about the charrette.

"They're good people, but a very imbalanced list of expertise," said Lori Paul, the vice president of the Altadena Trails Conservancy.

Almost one-third of an early list of charrette members were landscape designers, while other groups, including mountain bicyclists and some local trails organizations, had no representatives, she said.

"The other concern is the charrette is doing something really fast and focused with not enough input," she said.

Fast, perhaps, but the city has already held one public meeting, with others planned for Thursday and May 18.

At the first meeting, said Mary Barrie, a La Ca ada Flintridge resident and president of the La Ca ada Flintridge Trails Council, "You could tell there was a huge concern because the room was overflowing."

Part of the uneasiness stems from recent decisions about the adjoining Hahamongna Watershed Park.

The city's master plan for that park includes some controversial additions to what is now a largely undeveloped swath of 1,300 acres between Altadena and La Ca ada Flintridge. Soccer fields and a paved road around the perimeter would be added, mountain bikers banned from any unpaved trails, the disc golf course moved and the park closed at sundown.

For now, though, the hope is that the charrette can develop a plan that preserves the best of the Hahamongna Annex.

"I'm encouraged," Barrie said. "I think the city's going to do the right thing."

elise.kleeman@sgvn.com

(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451