Proposed Hahamongna Athletic Field Could Move to John Muir

The project would use a $1 million grant that would require work to be done on the field by June 2015, the Pasadena Sun reports.

Preservationists and residents that have been against creating a sports field in Hahamongna Watershed Park may get their wish if a proposed alternative occurs.

Pasadena officials are proposing that field construction happen on the John Muir High School campus instead, funded by a $1 million grant “that officials hope to reallocate for expanding and improving Muir’s existing south athletic field, located above the bus drop-off area on Cañada Avenue,” the Pasadena Sun reports.

The alternative would be good news for locals that have voiced their desire to see Hahamongna remain a natural habitat.

Arroyo Seco Foundation outreach coordinator Tim Martinez created a video last August in which he toured the site of the proposed athletic field and expressed why it should not be changed.

See the athletic field site tour video on Patch here.

Pasadena has not formally proposed the Muir site plan to state officials but the process would require collecting statements of public support, City Engineer Dan Rix told the Sun.

Evaluating proposed alterations to Hahamongna, including the soccer field, was put on hold after the City of Pasadena and Arroyo Seco Foundation received a $3.2 million grant in late October. 

Patch highlighted at the time that the $3.2 million Hahamongna grant included:

  • Upgrading the Arroyo Seco water intake structure to capture Pasadena's full water rights;
  • Evaluating the potential advantages of an inflatable dam;
  • Improving recreational opportunities for local residents by installing a restroom, interpretive signage, picnic tables, a water fountain, and a horse trough;
  • Restoring riparian habitat in the Arroyo Seco stream by removing unused facilities, planting native plants, improving fish conditions, and removing invasive species.

A public meeting about the proposed alternative for John Muir’s field will be held March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the John Muir High School auditorium.

What do you think of the proposed Hahamongna Watershed Park field possibly becoming an improvement and expansion at John Muir High School’s field instead? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Mary Lewis February 27, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Sounds like a great idea to have the sports field where there are lots of energetic young people to use it, and allow the water shed to maintain its ancient role and have the old unused buildings and other invasive fish and such removed. Excellent.
Jack Schaedel February 27, 2013 at 02:45 PM
I believe Hahamongna should be used for athletic and recreational activities. Our kids in the region have too few places to play.
William Korn February 27, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Mary, I mostly agree with you that the Hahamongna Grant plan is the better one. But preservationists must also realize that the word "ancient" in the term "ancient role" means 93 years, when Devil's Gate Dam was built. Unless the dam is entirely removed (which won't happen), the area between the dam and JPL will always be a debris basin. Any plans for that area must take into account that whatever structures, sporting fields, recreational trails, or flora are put in there could be destroyed/buried in a few days by a 50- or 100-year storm. Those who lived here for more than five years will remember how massively the floodplain changed as a result of the floods in the Winter following the Station Fire.
Tina Van Curen February 27, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Too many parks have become fenced athletic fields all over So Cal. Great idea to upgrade school facilities and leave the little open space we have as it should be. I bet it will cost less too.
Steve Lamb February 27, 2013 at 04:23 PM
BRILLIANT!!!! Finally an idea about soccer fields that makes sense. Hahamongna was NEVER EVER concieved to have soccer fields in it. I know, I was on the committee that came up with the nature park in the first place. Putting the field at a school site that has a huge unused grass area threatened by development enlarges locally protected green space, puts the soccer field near existing under utilized parking, and leaves hahamongna as it was intended, a nature park. BRILLIANT ! FINALLY!
michele Zack February 27, 2013 at 04:48 PM
A great solution: put the sports field where the kids are concentrated, and much closer to public transportation than Hahamongna. At the same time, upgrade sports infrastructure at an aging public school facility and save natural open space for all to enjoy. How many wins, I've lost count. What must happen to move this forward?
Dick Williams February 27, 2013 at 09:29 PM
I applaud leaving Hahamonga basically as is, with minor improvements to restroom facilities, and major sediment removal in non-controversial areas of the basin to make it better for it's original purpose: flood control.
Mud Baron February 28, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Really? Really? Really? No. No. No. Kids at Muir need jobs. The field could be used to expand the working farm and employ 20 year-round students. We currently spend $6,000 a month on produce from Santa Barbara, Riverside and other farms to supply our growing base of 200 customers. How can we grow more if we are saddled with a "recreation faciltity" for non-Muir students. NE Pasadena is already a "food desert." try buying an organic apple nearby? Go ahead. WholeFoods' WholeKids Foundation just granted us $10,000 to scale up our social-enterprise business. We are the only project with a business focus amongst their 2,000+ grantees. It includes funds for a pizza oven and a tractor. Our kids want what others in the community have: food security, good food access and a means to earn money to spend and to save. Do I have to remind the readers that 9 out of 10 Muir students qualify for "Free and Reduced" lunch? AYSO kids, probably not the same demographics. No. Not at all. And just how many Muir Students use the field? It's one of 5 on campus that are already used as soccer fields. How many jobs does AYSO provide to Muir Students? I was an AYSO coach (Region 254) for 7 years, but anyone can tell you the answer. I don't think any of the environmental leaders that opposed the original site had crushing Muir Ranch's hope of becoming a truly impactful green jobs program in mind? I don't think Tim Brick and the state officials did at all.
Virginia Paca February 28, 2013 at 03:58 PM
I'm sure there are other schools in the area that need to upgrade their sports faciities where it would not negatively impact the Muir Ranch farm. Muir High School has recieved state and national recognition for their innovative Farm-to-Table work at the Muir Ranch which is located next to the proposed soccor field. The Farm has 2.0 cultivated acres, which is about the same as the soccer field, and have had a fraction of the sports budget to work with. There has been a high level of student participation. Why not consider spending this money on something that integrates physical exercise, health and science....like the Muir Ranch? Anyone who has been to Muir High School lately understands that there are lots of other places on the campus that could be upgraded. Leave this area adjacent to the Muir Ranch Farm alone, or help them lay the infrasturcture they need to expand the Farm and purchase equipment!
Mary Landau March 03, 2013 at 03:35 AM
We need to have Muir Ranch enlarged! What they are doing there is just what our community needs!!! Our students benefit greatly form having Muir Ranch on campus, providing life opportunities that city kids miss. I am finding that people who learn about growing plants and maintaining a garden through hands on opportunities are much more logical and practical than those who have not had this experience are better grounded in making wise decisions. I want to live in a world that is filled with people who understand the environment, and what it takes to make things work well. What we need is more Muir Ranches that provide our youth with these life opportunities. Please, please expand the Muir Ranch and not the soccer fields!!!!!!! Mary Landau President of Los Angeles Chapter, California Women for Agriculture
Coaches Assoc. March 03, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Muir Ranch is a great idea in the first place but there is much to be said for upgrading the field for soccer but also for the girls softball field which is only really taken care of by the coaches. If you put in let's say a synthetic field, a batting cage, dugouts it will inspire kids to be more involved in their school athletic programs and give them great facilities to play on. Also it will bring money to the school from field use permits. These students are pushed off their fields enough, put something on campus that they can use. It is bad enough right now with all the wood chips, manure, torn up boxes, trash all over the place. Life opportunities also come from playing sports and learning how to play together. and the possibilities for scholarships.
Victor Caballero March 08, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Agree 100%
ANALILY PARK April 06, 2013 at 06:36 AM
I would be so excited if Hahamonga Park and Watershed will be preserved as a "green-open- area" for there are few areas that our kids can play at, besides the LCF Memorial Park. But, can somebody tell me if the water from the creek and soil around the park is contaminated from hazardous materials utilized by JPL? Our family loves hiking up in the park and I'm always wondering about this! If so, is JPL willing to clean-up after themselves? It would be a great opportunity, since they're contemplating turning their old parking lot that is located in the Hahamonga Park, into a nature's preservation spot!


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