Landslide 2011 sites named

The Davey Tree Expert Co. is sponsoring this year’s list, which highlights at-risk parks, gardens and working landscapes.

October 18, 2011
Industry News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has announced Landslide 2011. Landslide, first issued in 2003, is TCLF’s annual compendium of significant at-risk parks, gardens, horticultural features and working landscapes. The theme of Landslide 2011 is The Landscape I Love and calls attention to both the threatened sites and the people working to save them. This year’s diverse group ranges from 90,000 acres of cliffs and gorges to a small residential lot by the maverick landscape architect James Rose, and includes Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pa.), the Civil War-era Wilderness Battlefield (Locust Grove, Va.), Ladd’s Addition (Portland, Ore.), the first planned community in the state of Oregon, and nine other sites. The Davey Tree Expert Co. is presenting sponsor and Land Trust Alliance is a partner. Photographs of each of the sites by noteworthy photographers will be featured in the Davey Tree Expert Co.’s 2012 calendar and illustrate the site profiles on TCLF’s website (

The announcement was made at the American Life Building with one of this year’s honorees in attendance, Meme Sweets Runyon, the long time director of River Fields, one of the nation’s oldest river conservancies.  River Fields is the steward of the 50-mile long Ohio River corridor between Westport and West Point, Ky., currently threatened by unbridled sprawl and inappropriate transportation projects. Under Runyon’s leadership, River Fields has purchased 11 properties outright, secured protective conservation easements on an additional 2,200 acres, embarked on ambitious educational and outreach efforts, and created strategic partnerships aimed at developing comprehensive planning for the region.

The complete list of sites is as follows (alphabetical by state):

Sonoran Desert, Ariz. – Jane Rau, Photography by Tom Brownold
Spanning parts of Arizona, California and Mexico and host to the expansive Colorado and Gila Rivers, the Sonoran Desert has one of the most diverse habitats of any desert worldwide. Steward Jane Rau, co-founder of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, has educated public officials, local citizens, and the private sector, helping to establish a system of open spaces throughout the desert landscape.

McMillan Park, Washington, D.C. – Tony Norman, Photography by Roger Foley

The 25-acre civic monument and memorial to Sen. James McMillan was laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and conceived with City Beautiful planning principles as a large reserve of open green space. This unique example of industrial landscape history is threatened by unsympathetic development. Steward Tony Norman, a founding member of the McMillan Park Committee has been instrumental in working toward the site’s preservation and adaptive reuse.

Yarbrough Residence, Columbus, Ga. – Becky and Sidney Yarbrough, Photography by Allison Barnes

Constructed in 1959, this private house and garden were designed by architect Rozier Dedwylder and Modernist landscape architect James Rose. With strong connections between the interior spaces and exterior garden rooms, the landscape includes Rose’s signature zig-zag terraces and seamless integration with the surrounding woodland context. It is a rare extant James Rose design in the Southeastern U.S.

Ohio River Corridor, Ky. – Meme Sweets Runyon, Photography by Ross Gordon

One of America’s oldest river conservancies, River Fields has worked for more than 50 years toward the protection and preservation of a 50-mile stretch of the Ohio River between Westport and West Point, Ky. Steward Meme Sweets Runyon has been the executive director of River Fields for 25 years, during which time she expanded the organization to advocate for the natural, scenic, and cultural amenities of the Ohio River corridor.

Afton Villa Gardens, St. Francisville, La. – Genevieve Trimble, Photography by Jeannie Frey Rhodes
Once the site of a Gothic Revival style mansion that burned in 1963, Afton Villa Gardens boasts over 25 acres of European style gardens. Steward Genevieve Trimble has worked for more than 30 years to restore and preserve the gardens, endeavoring to maintain the original footprint and character of this antebellum landscape.

Saugatuck Dunes, Mich. – David Swan, Photography by Michael Carroll Mettler
A remarkable range of historic, cultural, artistic, social, environmental, archeological, and architectural assets across an area of more than 2,000 acres, the dunes have been a convergence of early settlements, artistic inspiration and spiritual exploration. Steward David Swan has spent the last decade coordinating support from regional organizations, public officials, and citizens in the form of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance.

Weequahic Park, Newark, N.J. – Wilbur J. McNeil
The 311-acre park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm and continues to provide an irreplaceable urban retreat for residents and visitors alike. Steward, Wilbur McNeil, president of the Weequahic Park Association has worked to educate and involve the public and officials in the care and preservation of the park’s intricate paths, rolling hills, and 80-acre lake.

Union Chapel, South Newbury, Ohio – Beverly Ash, Michael Fath, and Sandra Woolf, Photography by Charles J. Mintz
Dedicated in 1856 by future President James A. Garfield, the chapel has been the meeting place for those addressing social issues such as women’s suffrage and workers’ rights. The white oak located adjacent to the chapel was planted by members of the Newbury Women’s Political Suffrage Club to commemorate the nation’s Centennial. Today, these South Newbury Union Chapel trustees are working closely with the Geauga Park District to make the site more accessible to the public.

Ladd’s Addition Elm Grove, Portland, Ore. – David Kaplan, Photography by C. Bruce Forster

Ladd’s Addition was the first planned residential community in the state of Oregon. Its distinctive design, layout and mature tree canopy all contribute to its unique community character. More than 250 mature American elm trees lining the streets are now at risk of Dutch elm disease, a significant and incurable threat to their survival. Steward David Kaplan the president of Save Our Elms, has helped lead efforts to protect these graceful giants.

Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pa. – Ann Talarek, Photography by Thomas A. Heinz
Located in Millcreek, Pa., Fallingwater is one of Frank Lloyds Wright’s most acclaimed works of organic architecture. Horticultural Specialist Ann Talarek’s work ensures that the National Historic Landmark property’s landscape retains the naturalistic look and feel originally intended in its celebrated design.

Blue Ridge Escarpment, Greenville, S.C. – C. Thomas Wyche, Photography by Craig Grant
With an elevation drop of more than 2,000 feet in less than half a mile, the escarpment’s dramatic cliffs, gorges and waterfalls are home to more than 400 rare plants and more species of trees than in all of Europe. In 1972, C. Thomas Wyche established Naturaland Trust, which continues to spearhead the effort to preserve the Blue Wall in North and South Carolina – an area of over 90,000 acres.

Wilderness Battlefield, Locust Grove, Va. – Robert D. Rosenbaum, Photography by Allen Russ
This battlefield landscape was the site of the initial conflict in the 1864 Overland Campaign, the first time Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee met in battle. Under threat from encroaching development, most recently by a proposed 138,000-square-foot Walmart superstore, attorney Robert D. Rosenbaum worked tirelessly to build a decisive case for the historical significance of the site.

“Landslide 2011 recognizes both unique landscapes and the visionaries who support them and inspire us all,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF founder and president. “It takes the strength and dedication of the Meme Sweets Runyons of America to insure the future integrity of nationally significant treasures like Kentucky’s Ohio River corridor.”