Part 7: Status Update
By Galen Patterson
With a scattered tribe and no land to call their own, the Tongva are also fighting to be recognized by the U.S. government. As mentioned previously in the series, the Spanish Mission System in California incorporated native tribes into Christianity and thus removed many of the tribal names and giving them names corresponding to their respective missions. In the Tongva case, they became Gabrielinos, and with their name, much of their identity as the native tribe of Los Angeles County was lost.
Local resident Stan Raddon says his plan to fix Lake Baldwin is complete and ready to be presented, but he will not release the plan himself. Instead, Raddon says he wants the Tongva to take his plan. “I’m participating in this as a neighbor of the arboretum,” said Raddon, noting that the metaphorical ball is not in his court.
Since the Tongva are currently engaged in proving their legitimacy to the government, as of now, no date is set to gather arboretum and Tongva officials to discuss the matter further. “I’m hopeful that we can get a meeting soon,” said Raddon.
An environmental engineering firm called Tetra Tech has undertaken the Lake Baldwin project, but has remained somewhat closed-lipped about the company’s involvement, and has not provided any comment on the project to Arcadia Weekly. Tetra Tech has released information confirming they are looking into the project and are analyzing core samples pulled from the sediment to determine the characteristics of the sediment, abnormalities within it, and the environmental impact the sediment can have.
What began as a sag pond, gave life to nature, sustained humans and until relatively recently, held a considerable amount of water. Lake Baldwin is now a muddy pit with a lustrous past and potentially bright future.
Much of the average life is spent in between noteworthy events. While under the influence of stopping to smell the arboretum, Los Angeles County can be thankful that they at least still have something to call Lake Baldwin, rather than looking mournfully over a mass of pavement and imagining what was once there before it.
Arcadia Weekly will continue to provide updates on this story for as long as the project progresses. However, with the slow moving parts in this story operating independently and without contact, there is no definite answer as to what is going on with Arcadia’s Lake Baldwin.