Arroyo Seco - One Arroyo Foundation
EcoJustice Radio Sustainability

Flood Control to Free Rivers: The Tale of Water on Tongvalands


EcoJustice RadioEcoJustice Radio discusses the history of water in the Los Angeles River on the Native Tongva lands turned urban jumble: from free-flowing rivers to concrete-engineered flood control and back again. Tim Brick of the Arroyo Seco Foundation and Parker Davis of the Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery join in the discussion with host Carry Kim.

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Tim Brick speaks on the journey to take down dams and restore the Los Angeles River and its watershed.

Hear about the historical impacts of channelization, the formation of dams and the current movement toward dam removal across Turtle Island (aka. the Americas). Once an unbridled, seasonal river wending from the mountains to the ocean, by the 1960s, the entire length of the 51-mile long Paayme Paheight (aka. Los Angeles River) was concretized, destined to become infrastructure and a functional sewer. However, this is no longer the river’s destiny as advocacy for freeing the river and its tributaries, restoring native habitat and wildlife grows.

Hahamongna is the rare spot in the Arroyo Seco at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California where the mountainous watershed meets the urban plain. Periodically floods roar into this basin. Hahamongna contains five unique habitat zones that only exist in alluvial canyons near the mountains. Most sites like this in Southern California have been destroyed. The word means “Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley” in the native Tongva language. The Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery in Pasadena was so named by revered Chief Yanna (also known as Vera Rocha), a Gabrieliño Shoshone who taught the nursery’s community indigenous life ways and how to “see” and care for Hahamongna.

STORY: LA River Revitalization: The Story of Master Plan Gone Awry

More info on Saving Hahamongna:

Tim Brick is Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation [], and has been involved in promoting environmental awareness and sustainability for many years. He served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for 28 years including two terms as chair.

Parker Davis is Director of Marketing and Communications at the Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery []. A Pasadena native with a background in fine arts, he has an aesthetic obsession with California native plants. He works with volunteers, propagating plants for restoring natural areas & beautifying the local community’s neighborhoods and public spaces.

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Interview by Carry Kim
Hosted by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Episode 75
Photo by One Arroyo Foundation

Updated 8 September 2020

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  1. Pingback: Dam-Free: Indigenous Peoples Reclaim the Klamath River

  2. Pingback: LA River Revitalization: The Story of Master Plan Gone Awry

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