Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Hahamongna Natural Watershed Park is an acquired taste, like Roquefort cheese or truffles. To appreciate the Haha, you must welcome the extraordinary; you need a sense of adventure.
I like parks. I like an expanse of green green lawn in the middle of a desert -- a clipped hedge, appointed paths, acres of St Augustine, a fake pond. I also like liquefied American cheese on nachos. You know, when they melt that baby down and the chips get all soggy. Even though I realize, fully realize, I’m eating something akin to motor oil with salt and it’s not food at all. But yeah, I like parks and I like nachos.
Hahamongna does not present itself in pre-sliced, sodium infused packets. Hahamongna is strong, barely tamed. The visitors who love it are explorers. They have a taste for adventure; a call of the wild. Because the Haha is raggedy and unkempt, with unhemmed skirts and pillow-hair. Filled with newts and toads, good dreams, bad dreams, a Native American burial ground. The Haha is an open invitation to share quality time with ducks and herons, hawks, owls, coyotes, and mountain lions.
You’ll never find an image of Hahamongna on a candybox or in a Kincaide --but if you bring your own sensibilities to the picture, the Haha will embrace you. You’ll find a landscape for the dark and light moments of the soul.
So, when the City of Pasadena lost their bid to gentrify the Haha, seems our wily County of LA found a backdoor. A sediment removal project which will host more than 400 dump trucks six days a week. The plan is to rip out riparian areas that have been self-healing since the rock quarry years of the last century. And this project will continue for five years. That is more than fifteen hundred days of dust, dirt, destruction, noise, and death.
The County couldn’t more effectively obliterate the heart and life of this area if they tried. But then, I think they are. Trying, I mean. No conspiracy theorist here, but the City of Pasadena and now the County of LA, they’ve always hated Hahamongna. Partly because most of those on whatever panel have never even visited, let alone seen, Hahamongna, and partly because we’ve loved it so much.
If the County has its way, well, here’s the riddle: how many souls can fit in a dump truck? Before you answer, County, scoot over. No, further, give a girl some room. (You always hog the floor, 30-seconds for public comment? You won’t get away with that, you really won’t.) Ok, the answer is, zero.
The souls I know opposing this plan -- you have no idea what sort of tenacity, intelligence, and creativity you’re up against. These souls are in it for the long haul and have been at it for decades. Their roots grow long and deep, into a welcoming earth.
Catch a meeting.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Jackson Elementary School Auditorium, 593 West Woodbury Road
Saturday, November 16
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Community Center, 4469 Chevy Chase Drive, La Canada Flintridge
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011