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:

Park’s Natural Beauty Wins a Round Over More Cars in Hahamongna Tract

Subtitle:

Date:

2008-05-06

Author:

Don Bremner

Publication:

Southern Sierran

Content:

When the City of Pasadena acquired a 30-acre tract in the Arroyo Seco near JPL
in 2005, complete with several buildings left by the U.S. Forest Service,
planners and citizens were ready with ideas on the many things that could be
done on the wooded site in northwest Pasadena.

Existing equestrian uses would be continued. Taking advantage of the beautiful
natural setting, an environmental education center, classrooms, dining hall and
other features would be created.

Then city staff calculated how many people might be using all of these
features, and the traffic and parking involved. It could be lots of people and
lots of cars, using accepted ratios of people to cars.

That prospect brought a clear response at an April 3 public meeting –
preserve the area’s natural environment, don’t add a lot more parking,
schedule events to keep the crowd within limits.

Agreeing on the best use of this property, known as the Hahamongna Annex,
stirred memories of the shaping of the master plan several years ago for the
adjoining Hahamongna Watershed Park, the section of the upper Arroyo Seco from
Devils Gate Dam to the vicinity of JPL. One issue then was how many soccer
fields – and their parking lots -- should be put in a natural area, a
question that seemed settled when the master plan was adopted in 2003 but has
shown signs of revival.

Plans for the Annex covering 24 of the 30 acres, excluding 6 acres leased to
the county for its firefighting operations, grew out of a series of public
meetings and comment, and a 2006 daylong design charrette of professional
planners and community members.

Planning for the Annex is overseen by a citizens body, the Hahamongna Watershed
Park Advisory Committee. At this group’s April 3 meeting attended by several
dozen interested citizens, City officials presented three options for access,
circulation and parking in the Annex.

All of the options would improve existing roadways, add a third bus parking and
drop-off area, construct a gradual trail to a proposed public transit stop on
nearby Oak Grove Drive, add a bikeway along the northern edge, and add parking
spaces in the Annex.

Parking spaces within the Annex would increase from the existing 127 to 175.
But these might not be adequate for large events at the same time, such as
weekend soccer or baseball, an equestrian event, disc golf and environmental
meetings, not to mention picnickers, hikers and others.

To ensure enough parking, two of the proposed options would add access to 214
spaces, available only on weekends, by building roads to a city-owned tract
used by JPL employees for weekday parking at the eastern edge of the JPL campus
and just northeast of the Annex.

Both of these new roads drew objections at the public meeting. There was strong
support for keeping the Annex, with its prized oak grove woodlands, as natural
and undisturbed as feasible. Instead of adding parking spaces to accommodate
expected crowds, why not manage and schedule events to fit available parking,
even if that means some limits?

In the end, the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee voted for Option A
– with no road to the 214-space JPL lot. And it asked city staff to manage
events so that all attendees would fit in existing parking spaces.

This desire to preserve the natural environment in Hahamongna surfaced earlier
this year when the Hahamongna advisory committee adopted a resolution urging
reconsideration of two multiuse fields, suitable for soccer, proposed for south
of the Annex in the 2003 master plan.

Pasadena’s new Environmental Advisory Commission also challenged the idea of
more playfields. In an April 15 letter to Mayor Bill Bogaard, it asked the City
Council to examine whether the two new multipurpose fields, and their parking
areas, would be consistent with the city’s announced environmental goals.