Pasadena takes note of Eagle Scouts' Hahamongna upgrades

A recent Eagle Scout project in Hahamongna Watershed Park improved a stretch of local trail, but it also gave rise to a border dispute between Los Angeles County and the city of Pasadena.

On Dec. 8 members of La Cañada Flintridge Troop 507, their friends and family came out to help Makoto Inouye, 17, finish the Eagle Scout project he had planned with the help of county Parks and Recreation Department employee Ron Beltran.

The volunteers repainted the concrete pedestrian and equestrian tunnel that passes under Oak Grove Avenue, added 130 feet of split-log rail fencing, put down decomposed granite to improve the trail and added a new sign. They also accidentally broke a water line, which is what brought their efforts to the attention of the Pasadena Public Works Department.

Pasadena property starts just east of the tunnel, according to Charles Peretz, administrator for the Pasadena Parks and Natural Resources Division.

La Cañada owns the tunnel and the area west of it, but was not involved in the project, according to Facilities and Maintenance Superintendent Gonzalo Venegas.

Troop 507 was working with the county parks department, which has overseen half a dozen scout projects this year and which provided the materials for the work, according to Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Kaye Michelson.

Michelson acknowledged that the stretch of trail is in Pasadena, but said the county has long cared for it.

“This trail is a trail that our department has maintained for about 25 years,” she said.

Peretz said Pasadena is amenable to working with the county to maintain the trails, as long as communication is clear.

“We’ll have to make sure we know where the boundaries are,” he said. “On a more positive note, if there’s an opportunity to partner, maybe we can work in conjunction and share resources.”

Pasadena intends no punitive action against the scouts, Peretz said, but he noted the city has a master plan for recreational areas in the Arroyo Seco.

“While we’re grateful for people that want to help us improve our parks, we have a very involved set of guidelines, and there’s a process,” he said.

Peretz said the decision on whether the trail improvements can stay will depend on a review to make sure the work conforms to Pasadena’s trails plan.

John Moe, co-scoutmaster for Troop 507, said Pasadena ought to be grateful for the helping hands.

“If you can get 50 boys and parents, to put 500 hours into fixing the trail, it seems to me you would be overjoyed and not raise an issue with the county,” he said.


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