In Australia, a walkabout is a sacred rite of passage one undergoes to find oneself by being immersed in nature. In Southern California, the Hahamongna Walkabout, hosted by the Arroyo Seco Foundation (ASF), seeks to inspire by guided tours through this rare spot near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena where mountain terrain transforms into an urban plain.
The Hahamongna Watershed Park hosts a range of plant habitat and is a refuge for many species of wildlife and birds. Only last summer, a pair of Least Bell's Vireos, an endangered subspecies of Bell's Vireo songbird were spotted in the 300-acre open area.
This year, ASF adds another facet to the annual event by teaming up with local community groups to host recreational events at learning stations placed at five to ten-minute intervals throughout the hiking trail. ASF seeks to acquaint visitors to the Hahamongna's natural endowments, as well as its many recreational facilities, which allow for hiking, biking, disc golf, and bird watching.
"The walkabout will give visitors a chance to explore a wide range of activities that provide an intimate connection between people and nature," says Jonathan Frame of ASF. By organizing the walkabout, the non-profit hopes participants will get "a sense of the diversity, importance and sensitivity of the area."
Expect an equestrian demonstration by non-profit Rose Bowl Riders, a basic lesson in the growing sport of disc golf at the world's first permanent basket disc golf course by Oak Grove Disc Golf Club, and a primer on the region's water sources from the Arroyo Seco Canyon Project. Operating out of Hahamongna since 1944, the Tom Sawyer Camps will also be imparting some beloved park traditions passed down over the last 70 years.
Attend the Hahamongna Walkabout on March 23. Tours begin every 30 minutes from 9 am to 10:30 am. Reserve your spot here.
Top: Hahamongna Watershed Park from the Flint Wash Bridge looking north. Courtesy of Arroyo Seco Foundation.
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