Athletic Fields or Nature at Hahamongna?

The proposed sport fields in Hahamongna are back in the news again.  Seven years after the City Council approved the Hahamongna Master Plan with controversial last minute changes, city staff is busily preparing plans to construct the two athletic fields contained in that plan and one or two more to boot.

But does Pasadena really need more soccer fields at all, let alone at the expense of the beautiful nature area in Hahamongna Watershed Park? The answer, according to a survey conducted for Pasadena in 2005, is a resounding No! Only three percent of Pasadena families identify a need for additional soccer fields, while hiking, walking and open space activities emerge as the most popular recreational activities in Pasadena. While the survey is now five years old, note that it was two years after to additional soccer fields were aded to the Hahamongna Master Plan. We suspect that support for open space and low-key recreational activities has only increased in the last five years.

The "Recreation Needs Assessment Survey" was prepared by Research Network, Ltd of Mission Viejo for the City of Pasadena and released in March, 2005. A total of 450 comprehensive interviews of Pasadena families were conducted. The margin of error ranges from 2.0-4.7%.

The survey reported that the most popular recreational activities in Pasadena have been Walking/Jogging/Running (76%) and the use of Trails or Open Space (67%). Soccer (12%) lagged behind other activities such as special events (64%) picnicking (58%), bicycling (38%) and a variety of other park uses.

The most popular family programs were general park use (32%) and hiking/walking (22%), with soccer trailing far behind at 5%.

Survey participants were also asked about what recreation facilities Pasadena needs.  Twenty six percent replied that no additional facilities are needed.  Nine percent wanted additional bicycling or jogging paths.  Seven percent desired a swimming pool.  Only 3% mentioned soccer fields, the same as golf courses, a performing arts center, outdoor basket courts, and tennis courts.

Another key question asked Pasadenans was what single recreation program they most wanted to see established. Again soccer came in at a measly 2%, trailing “none,” music, outdoor concerts, arts and crafts, swimming and more parks. Yoga, dance and seasonal fairs tied with soccer.

Given the high level of participation in hiking, walking, trail use and the low demand for soccer fields, it would be especially ironic to site additional soccer fields in Pasadena’s premier nature and open space park, Hahamongna Watershed Park

You can read the "Recreation Needs Assessment Survey" by clicking on this link: