Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hahamongna Watershed Park: Let it be



There’s an orphan bit of feral ground between three towns. Some people love the wildness of it – the way it changes with seasons, the way it has survived more than a hundred years of encroaching civilization. Animals find refuge here. Wild ones -- frogs, ducks, swallows, hawks, bobcats, snakes. And the more domesticated – runners, walkers, children, me.

You can’t argue someone into love; I’m not sure you can argue someone into appreciation. But we can try.

If city council moves forward with its plan for Hahamongna – the bleachers, floodlights, parking lots -- if they fill the natural lake to grow a soccer field instead -- then it will be just one more big green lawn; one of many parks, not one in a million.



Some links here will make the fiscal responsibility plea, and it’s a damn good one. How the city can justify millions of dollars for an athletic field when schools and vital services are suffering. Not a one of us opposes organized sports; many of us regularly indulge. Most of us believe a bit of wilderness and athletic fields can and should share the same city, they just can’t share the same backyard.



Best case scenario from the Pasadena City Council meeting next week? Agree that something doesn’t always need something else. Agree that sometimes no change makes a noble difference.

I’ll tell you what I’ll do for you – nothing. Is that any good to you? Nothing? Mind you, I can’t do it straight away; something is always cropping up. But if I can find the time to do nothing for you, I’ll try to squeeze it in.” – Alice in Wonderland



Please visit other local bloggers to see their thoughts and words of support for Hahamongna:

Altadena Above It All
Arroyo lover
A Thinking Stomach
East of Allen
Finnegan Begin Again
LA Creek Freak
Mendolonium
Mister Earl's Musings
My Life With Tommy
Pasadena Adjacent
Pasadena Daily Photo
Pasadena Latina
SaveHahamongna.org
Selvage
The Sky Is Big In Pasadena
Webster's Fine Stationers Web Log
West Coast Grrlie Blather

And special thanks to Barbara Ellis and Petrea Burchard for helping bring this together.

Also thanks to Pasadena Star News for covering our efforts here.

54 comments:

  1. I can see and feel why this place is so special. I always worry about the delicate ecosystems when things are messed with.

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  2. Yes, organized sports is more and more important -- it is vital that we get our young people outside and active, but not in a natural watershed and habitat. There are so many other locations available for soccer, that this pristine area should be left as is.

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  3. I will do nothing for you. That's lovely. I had forgotten that speech. I hope the wiser heads prevail and make that choice.

    You got a photo of a coyote! I never can. They're so quick. Pretty, fleeting little things.

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  4. Soccer fields in a natural watershed? Curiouser and curiouser.

    JJ

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  5. Nothing must be done. I love it--it's got my brain spinning in all sorts of ways. Great work, Karin.

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  6. Most eloquent and succint--as good an 'argument' for this place as I've heard. I, too, fell in love with this wild and unruly riverbottom only this year and I sure do not relish the thought of it disappearing into yet another paved and tamed recreational area. Your observation of wildlife use is spot-on, and the duck family photo presses this issue home. My only hope this is not lost city officials, who too often take the short-sighted view of everything.

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  7. Well said. I look forward to checking out the other blogs.

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  8. Hi Urban Wild, thank you and nice to meet you.

    I encourage everyone to enjoy the links. It's quite a treat to see the same story through so many different eyes. (A few of the links will be posting their story a little later in the morning.)

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  9. Agree that something doesn’t always need something else.


    I love the same themes echoed 'round the various blog posts. I love the coyote, too.

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  10. People who care must stand up and speak for the land. For those who want words to fight with, I recommend the book 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv. He cites the studies that show why our children need unstructured wild spaces and how they are hurting from the lack of it.

    It's one of the most important books of our time.

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  11. This INFURIATES Miss J. Because Pasadena doesn't have ENOUGH fields for soccer? More grass to dump water onto. In the middle of a desert. Awesome!

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  12. Maybe love stinks, but this smells like really rotten political money.

    As asked on PA's blog: Isn’t this area now within the reach of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy?

    L8r

    Mid-Town

    WV: pancho. OK, so where is Pancho Villa when you need him?

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  13. Are these idiots (they are everywhere) not going to be happy until it's all gone?

    great post...

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  14. Doing anything beyond nothing would be a tragedy.

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  15. Maybe at some point we'll get to the bottom of how this "proposed change" came about and who issued it. Politics are dirty business. Nobel dirt is land left alone

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  16. I guess with that bunch of s-up-port ... no-thing will happen.

    Btw: G against S: 0-0 (halftime)

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  17. Isn't it now illegal to fill in wetlands? Doesn't Pasadena know that? Methinks the EPA should have something to say about that. I know, I know: Put the soccer field in the school yard: then the school and the town can BOTH use it! But silly me, I'm just a citizen blessed with a smattering of common sense. I NEED politicians to tell me what's right for me - and so do you.

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  18. Eloquent, eloquent. There is no reason soccer needs to be pitted against Hahamongna. I'm all for soccer fields. Just not here.

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  19. Ok, broken record, but you really will like the links. Linda's poem, PA's video, Michael's map, Christina's photos -- goes on and on.

    Miss Janey, I knew you'd have a pithy comment. Deb and Pat and Terri and Marjie, you live in other places, but you couldn't be more spot on.

    Midtown: Santa Monica Conservancy is within handshaking distance (Cherry Cyn I believe). So near yet so far.

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  20. FYI: Spain got the final.

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  21. EPA, Marjie? Seriously? Can anyone make a phone call? I'm at a VO session. I can't get on it 'til tomorrow.

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  22. I dream of having the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy come to the rescue! This land shouldn't be left to the whims of Council members needing votes from their particular areas of Pasadena. Your writing is so spot on, I can't decide which bit I like best, but the idea of the orphan bit of feral ground between three towns is adorable. And congrats on photographing the cute coyote and the little ducklings (and may they keep apart).

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  23. I can't help but think this isn't about votes. I think the majority of constituents don't want soccer fields. This is about something else.

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  24. Fight on ... it's your local fight.

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  25. Nothing is good by me but you have to fight to have it, common sense too!

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  26. You go, all!
    It would be a crime to change the area!

    What a good idea to organize local blog action day - doing something to make sure "NOTHING" gets done (love your quote). I sure hope your voices are heard. I don't understand what happends to people when they get on "boards/councils" -- it's like they stop thinking clearly. It's a constant battle to prevent unnecessary development and think of other alternatives.

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  27. Beautifully and tenderly written.

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  28. A couple of blogs have weighed in today that I didn't know were going to participate.

    http://godeepandfindtruth.blogspot.com/2010/07/save-hahamongna.html

    http://avenuetotheskylakeavenuepasadena.blogspot.com/2010/07/save-natural-beauty-of-devils-lake.html

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  29. Add to that arroyolover.com. On my bloglist now

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  30. Ditto Earl and everyone else. I'm an outsider, but I cannot imagine a convincing argument from the other side. You all seem agreed that there are plenty of soccer fields now and/or other places to put new ones, so what in the world is the other side thinking?

    Amazingly apt quote from Alice!

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  31. Good to see you guys staying on top of this, great writing and great organization on everyone's part.

    B52, perhaps they're not thinking. Some folks love them some committee meetings, etc. This isn't the reason, just the outcome. I'm betting on it.

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  32. Whatever my dear, dear Dena blog friends say, I ditto. They know and love that piece of heaven, and I've seen it first hand, and I do too!!!
    V

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  33. I love the picture of the coyote...very cool.

    I drove out to Hahamongna to hike today and it really struck me how it is located in something of a no-mans's land between three communities. I find the idea of locating Pasadena funded and maintained athletic fields in Hahamongna even more odd given it's location of on the extreme edge of Pasadena. It is not convenient to most of Pasadena and does not have good public transportation nor walking options from most Pasadena neighborhoods. All factors that make soccer fields there all the more unsustainable.

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  34. Absolutely, Gina. Even my soccer playing friends don't want to play there. (They'd rather hike there.)

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  35. As everyone else has said, beautiful and eloquent.

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  36. This day proves there's more than one voice in the wilderness. You're lovely.

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  37. "And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
    there will be an answer, let it be.
    For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
    there will be an answer. let it be."

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  38. Standing ovation! We don't need another soccer field, we need the open space.

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  39. It's rare when something only needs to be left alone to succeed. When it doesn't need "improvement." Unfortunately, it's even rarer when any governmental body recognizes that fact. But maybe the nation's (and your state's, in particular) current financial calamity will work in your favor. Good luck to you. Fight the good fight.

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  40. Love the duck legacy.
    In thinking about the addition of soccer fields I wonder if the plan includes a traffic plan to and from the area? Through which neighborhoods might traffic flow?

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  41. This may be a tough fight. From a few google searches it looks like the City of Pasadena is in need of revenue.

    Hahamongna Staples Center anyone?

    Looks like it's under Pasadena's Public works Department control:

    http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2010%20agendas/May_10_10/AR%2021.pdf

    Maybe all of you already know this, but I had to catch up.

    Midtown

    PS. Hiker I'm not convinced that the Santa Monica Conservancy is out of reach. Check out their web site.

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  42. AH, your going to need your ACTIVIST CAP for this one too.

    Midtown

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  43. Paula, thanks. I have only to think of faculty meetings to know you're right. But I still struggle to grasp that some/many/most people want to spend their one and only life in such pursuits.

    (ANd they might reply, "This from a guy who watches CSI Miami." [yes, I remember]).

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  44. LOVE that quote. It has just the right amount of sarcasm and in-your-face-it-ness. I hope your beloved Hahamongna escapes the developers plow.

    BTW, I love your new profile pic!

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  45. Midtown, I assume that's in the mail? (I'll do some more research on the conservancy.)

    And thank you all for your support, far and near.

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  46. Yeah, it's on a slow boat from China!

    BTW, this from Wikipedia (I don't look at it as gospel,) but:

    "Territory protected

    The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy territory originally was within the in the Santa Susana Mountains and Santa Monica Mountains, and the Simi Hills; areas located north and west of metropolitan Los Angeles in Ventura County and Los Angeles County. Since then its territory has been extended to the east to include parks in the San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, San Rafael Hills, and Puente Hills.[3][4][5]
    The 450,000 acre (1,800 km²) "zone" in which the conservancy can acquire land is bounded on the south by the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to Point Mugu. The zone extends inland roughly 50 miles (80 km) from Malibu north to Newhall Pass and 65 miles (105 km) from Thousand Oaks east to Pasadena. Several major freeways in Los Angeles cross the zone, including the Hollywood, Ventura, San Diego and Interstate 5"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Monica_Mountains_Conservancy

    You decide.

    Midtown

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  47. Beautifully written. Such an eloquent argument for saving this place.

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  48. Hi Susan.

    Midtown -- Bellis will be checking on SMC next week. Thanks for the tip.

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  49. I have to agree that soccer and wildness don't mix well. The only time they ever could is if there is a LOT of wildness, and that's certainly not the case here.

    Soccer fields are development, wildness is... NOT development! These uses are antithetical, diametrically opposed, and incompatible.

    Put the soccer field on some other, already developed patch; let us preserve one of the few never-developed patches in this city, a very rare resource, never to be seen again.

    Once lost, undeveloped, i.e. natural land can never be regained. Let's not squander it!

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  50. Couldn't agree more, Dick. Thanks for weighing in.

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