The Cultural Landscape Foundation published it's Landslide list on Saturday, which tracks the places of highest environmental risk in the United States.
The 2011 list covers natural habitats, parks, gardens and other areas that could soon be devastated by development and neglect. This year's ranking is the eighth annual Landslide list, and this year the Land Trust Alliance added a feature called The Landscape I Love, which presents individuals who are doing their part to protect the endangered areas.
Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA:
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous house is Fallingwater, built in 1963. But the forest surrounding the work of art is changing, and the most dominant and long lasting tree, the hemlock, is being infected by an arboreal disease. Steward Ann Talarek has employed the help of a number of experts to combat the problem and to stop the death of the trees.
Sonoran Desert, AZ:
Arizona has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire country, the Sonoran Desert included. People have been living in the cactus-covered region for 9,000 years, but urban development and agricultural operations are spreading into the ecologically diverse area. Additionally, the introduction of foreign species such as the tamarisk tree and buffel grass has proved to be detrimental to the desert wildlife.
Wilderness Battlefield, Locust Grove, VA:
On May 5, 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee met in battle for the first time at the Wilderness Battlefield. The battle was the bloodiest in American history and considered the turning point of the Civil War. But the site is rife with unrest once again, and is being fought over by conservationists and developers. Wal-mart tried to build a store on the battlefield and the land would be valuable for housing projects.
Ohio River Corridor, KY:
This beautiful little stretch of the Ohio River is a prime suburban sprawl candidate, and a project called the Eastern Bridge is threatening 3,000 acres of historic properties, including farms, river camp homes and country estates, according to the foundation.
Saugatuck Dunes, MI
About 400 of 2,000 acres of Saugatuck were bought by a private developer who has already submitted plans for what to do with the area, some of it in violation of zoning and permit regulations.
Ladd’s Addition Elm Grove, Portland, OR:
A landmark in urban planning, Ladd’s Addition was built in 1891 in southeast Portland. The residential community was adorned with a rich selection of trees, including European white birches, little-leaf lindens, Norway maples, and Persian walnuts. But the community's favorite tree -- the American elm -- is currently being attacked by a fungus called Dutch elm disease, which is threatening 250 trees on the town's main street.
Weequahic Park, Newark, NJ:
The lake in this beautiful park inside the city of Newark has been contaminated by pollution, causing the spread of a vicious algae that is killing plant and animal species. The park itself has also deteriorated and the historic sight has fallen into disrepair in recent years. Local New Jersey resident Wilbur J. McNeil has made himself the steward of the park, and is raising awareness about pollution.
McMillan Park, Washington, D.C.:
The McMillan Park Reservoir Sand Filtration became a civic landmark in the capital but the closing of the reservoir in 1986 abandoned the site, which has failed to qualify for National Historic Landmark status. There is a high risk of development and contractors have already begun planning what will replace the 106-yearl-old facility.
Union Chapel, South Newbury, Ohio:
A chapel and a tree mark the place where, in 1876, the South Newbury Women’s Suffrage Political Club organized to fight for free speech and the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony, Louisa May Alcott and a number of other famous suffragists gave speeches there. Its proximity to the Cuyahoga River watershed makes the home to muskrats, beavers and other wetland wildlife. Preservationists are currently trying to make it more accessible to the public and to bring it back into American historical consciousness.
Afton Villa Gardens, St. Francisville, LA:
Once home to a beautiful antebellum mansion, this Louisiana garden needs constant upkeep and protection to assure that it doesn't fade into history. The land was almost sold on a number of occasions, but the current owners are doing their best to maintain Afton Villa.
Blue Ridge Escarpment, Greenville, SC:
This small forest region in South Carolina has more tree species and rare plants than in all of Europe. But foresting, logging and urban expansion could permanently change or destroy the region if conservation efforts fail.
Yarbrough Residence, Columbus, GA:
Another famous, architecturally ingenious house, the Yarbrough Residence (Constructed in 1959) needs extensive time and care if it is going to last into the future. The home is still owned by the Yarbroughs, but the family will not be able to maintain it forever.