Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hahamongna Blog Day

Counselors from Tom Sawyer Camp set up a learning center on the shore of a natural lake at Hahamongna Watershed Park (click to enlarge).

This Monday, July 12th, Pasadena's City Council will discuss and probably decide once and for all whether or not to build soccer fields in Hahamongna Watershed Park.

One field is planned for the location pictured above. This natural lake fills with the spring floods, then slowly dries out in summer. It provides habitat for coyotes, bobcats, ducks, swallows, rabbits, ground squirrels, toads, egrets and herons. These are the animals I've observed there.

Soccer is more popular than ever before. Yet the City Council recently voted millions in budget cuts, affecting salaries and city services. Caught between this rock and that hard place, what's the City Council to do?

We have alternatives. Vacant lots and little-used playing fields all over town lie waiting to be repurposed. There's no need to spend millions during a recession to fill in a lake and build unsustainable soccer fields in a flood plain when we have access to other, more appropriate land.

In almost every issue of Pasadena In Focus, the city's useful and effective newsletter to citizens, we're urged to reuse and recycle. Repurposing unused lots is recycling on a grand scale. Let's use land that's already flat, already outside the flood plain and all ready to be played on, to make financially and environmentally sustainable soccer fields for Pasadena.

If you'd like to email your council member, you can do so here. And thank you.

Today several bloggers have teamed up to talk about why we think Hahamongna Watershed Park isn't the place for athletic fields. Please visit all the blogs (and one website!) participating in Hahamongna Blog Day:
Altadena Above It All
Altadena Hiker
Arroyo Lover
A Thinking Stomach
Avenue to the Sky
East of Allen
Finnegan Begin Again
Go Deep...Find Truth
Greensward Civitas
LA Creek Freak
Mister Earl's Musings
My Life With Tommy
Pasadena 91105 and Beyond
Pasadena Adjacent
Pasadena Latina
Temple City Daily Photo
The Sky Is Big In Pasadena
Webster's Fine Stationers Web Log
West Coast Grrlie Blather

My thanks to Barbara Ellis and Karin Bugge for helping put Hahamongna Blog Day together.


Shell Sherree said...

This is a local matter so I should not throw in my 10c worth, but I have to say, I just don't get it. I'll hope for the best, Petrea.

Dina said...

Good luck in your campaign.
May good sense prevail.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you both. The funny thing is, I don't get it either. A soccer playing friend of mine asked me yesterday, "who wants soccer fields at Hahamongna?" Neither of us knew the answer. It doesn't compute. Besides the wildlife problems, there's no public transportation there and it's in an inconvenient location. This may be an old choice that needs to be looked at with new eyes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for caring so deeply and for all your efforts to pull this blogorama together.

I'm thoroughly enjoying visiting all the blogs and taking in the different perspectives. All have a common conclusion, of course.

Susan C said...

It's really been inspiring to read all of the bloggers' posts.

The concept of a soccer field and parking lot seems just inconceivable.

Linda Dove said...

I like the image of recycling and repurposing you propose. That's it.

Watson said...

I signed the petition tho I'm not a resident. Hope that's ok. I put remarks in for all of us who might one day be visitors to the area. Besides, respect for the earth crosses boundaries.

Pascal Jim said...

Gathering many blogger's in this effort of public support to eliminate the folly of placing soccer fields in a known flood area is greeted by this writer as very exciting.

Soccer field and parking..ha... then restrooms, snack shop, roads, meeting rooms, etc.......if this proposal is approved.....

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

FYI - I've posted links to the relevant posts on my blog. Will continue as more posts become available.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

For the sake of convenience: Hahamongna: You Cannot Be Serious. Links are at the bottom of the post.

Pascal Jim said...

I posted prior to reading the many thoughts on Hahamngna.
We are blessed with a group of writers far beyond my skill at the keyboard.
Thank you all:

"Wish I could write like that"

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm overwhelmed by the great response today. Greensward Civitas has just posted:

Add that to your posts if you can, I'm trying to keep up with the email!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Will the major listen to an "adjacent" at the lower end of the arroyo? I'll give it a shot

Thanks for putting this together. May wiser minds prevail

Bellis said...

The Tom Sawyer kids in your photo have such a good time in the summer enjoying the semi-wilderness out there. There must be several generations that have spent their summers like this, and grown up to be nature lovers. I'm stunned by all the wonderful writing on all 17 blogs. It's been a very enjoyable morning reading all of them, and I feel like binding the essays and photos together and presenting a copy to every council member. Well done, Petrea, for rallying the troops.

Petrea Burchard said...

Avenue to the Sky posted also, adding to the mix. He's a terrific historian.

Petrea Burchard said...

Kat just weighed in at Pasadena 91105 and Beyond:

Tash said...

Great work Petrea and friends! Don't give up the fight.

Tash said...

PS - your image alone would convince anyone to leave the spot alone!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Tash!

Here's a post from a blog I hadn't heard of before, called Go Deep...Find Truth. Thank you, Sarah S!

Anonymous said...

Nice! Everyone has provided elbow room for further conversation and deeper consideration.

Michael Coppess said...

Great work putting this together. And it has been fun to tour the various blogs and see what folks have to say. From what I hear, our efforts have been noticed! Now let's hope they make a difference. Thank you!!

Petrea Burchard said...

And now: Arroyo Lover:

Petrea Burchard said...

The blog discussion has been so great today. I don't think I've kept up with everyone.

I didn't realize until today that soccer field use is at a premium only during soccer season. I learned this from a friend who said that, to her knowledge, it's fall semester during school. This must be why I keep seeing empty soccer fields.

To pillage Hahamongna for something people won't use year-round sounds astonishingly unnecessary, especially considering the costs.

Christina said...

I tried to post earlier, but I've been fighting with blogger today.

You've done an excellent job pointing out the discrepancy between what Pasadena claims to set out to do and what it might actually do. Nice work.

Thank you so very much for organizing this.

Virginia said...

GIVE EM HELL!!!! Don't give up the fight for what you hold dear in the Denas!

Petrea Burchard said...

Christina, thanks for your participation. What a great day it's been. I've enjoyed seeing this from so many different perspectives.

I believe in Pasadena and, at least at the moment, I believe in our City Council. I have high hopes for the best.

Virginia, YOU ROCK. Thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

It has been a special day.

Latino Heritage said...

Shell, local elected officials will decide this, but in so many ways this is a regional matter.
Thanks to all who worked on this Hahamongna Blog Day.

Judy - So California said...

From Across Town I am sending good wishes for your success with this project. To alter the beautiful land we see in the pictures would be a crying and irreplaceable shame. Let's hope wise minds prevail.

macp64 said...

Yes, indeed it would be a total shame to turn this area into a soccer field. It obviously is a prime condo location.

Linda said...

These wonky spending decisions sound familiar. I don't know all the background to your locsl situation, but commonsense would seem to say that if you're facing budget cuts, and already have soccer fields lying unused, then don't build more. Good luck!

Kim said...

This is beyond fantastic. In my opinion, community life seldom gets any better than this. It is convergences like this that give me hope for the USA. This is how we, the civilized people, can and do act. Bravo and kudos to you all for coming together on an issue dear to your hearts.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you everyone. The response has been so positive and we certainly hope for the best. Mike, you made me laugh.

Petrea Burchard said...

Steve Scauzillo just weighed in at Temple City Daily Photo. Thank you, Steve! Another perspective on this issue:

Petrea Burchard said...

I received a pleasant response from Mayor Bogaard to my email. I'm sure he won't mind me quoting him here:

"Thank you very much for conveying your views on the subject of the two proposed soccer fields at Hahamongna Park. I am able to confirm this matter will appear on our agenda Monday, July 12, and is expected to be taken up soon after 7:30 p.m. In light of the apparent strong public interest in this discussion, it is possible the Council would adjust the usual time for public comment on a matter under consideration to two minutes maximum. Your interest on this important subject is appreciated, and thank you again for submitting your views."

Crucially, he lets us know that the matter will be taken up early in the evening (thank you, City Council!) and that our comments might be limited to two minutes, so we can prepare accordingly. The mayor is a kind man but he doesn't suffer people to ramble on at council meetings.

Susan Campisi said...

Succinct, eloquent, and powerful - as always. Thank you so much for mobilizing this protest of words.

Petrea Burchard said...

Susan, you're welcome. All I did was send out emails. You guys and your wonderful blogs did the hard work. It was exciting to see the mobilization and read everyone's views. I finally slept in this morning.