Wildlife activists prevailed over youth sports proponents this week when the Pasadena City Council voted Monday to reject one of two proposed sports fields in Hahamongna Watershed Park, across the street from La Cañada High School. And the field that remains on the drawing board may well get the boot one day down the road, as the conservationists continue their fight to keep the area behind Devil's Gate Dam as open and wildlife-friendly as possible.
Where's the hue and cry, the gnashing of teeth? I don't know if it's because it's mid-July and La Cañada parents are with their offspring on vacations, or whether people just aren't as rabid as they were earlier this decade about the need for additional sports fields, but it's strangely silent.
I'm not saying there should be complaints, as maintaining open space and thereby protecting habitats isn't a bad thing. I'm just surprised because in city meetings earlier this decade there were plenty of comments (I'd even categorize some of those as impassioned pleas) made by adults and kids alike about the dearth of playing fields within our city limits. So much so, in fact, that in 2002 our City Council worked on getting Pasadena to agree to a joint-use venture that would allow La Cañada sports teams to share any fields developed in Hahamongna. And, in 2003, two sports fields did make their way onto Pasadena's plans for Hahamongna, cheering local coaches who were growing tired of trying to pin down time and space on La Cañada fields for games.