Finally the Sonoran Desert and its Destruction Receives the Attention it Deserves.

Posted on September 24, 2011


Probably 20 years ago now, SamHenry’s mother and stepfather were living on Pinacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona, high above the Sonoran Desert.  On her first day there, Sam’s mother took her on a tour of America’s most beautiful desert and it brought a flood of tears.  “Why are you crying”? mother asked. ” I thought you would enjoy this ride.”  Sam replied “why would I be happy to see America’s most beautiful desert marked off into lots with for sale signs everywhere”?  It ranked in Sam’s mind with building on Civil War Battlefields, putting Disney World in historic Virginia (happily voted out) and other atrocities brought about by unbridled greed.

Fallingwater and the Sonoran Desert, along with 10 other settings, are on this year’s roster of threatened landscapes. The 2011 “Landslide” list, released today by the Cultural Landscape Foundation, is a compendium of parks, gardens and other landscapes that are at risk due to development, neglect or other issues. The foundation has compiled the annual list since 2003. This year, it spotlights not only the at-risk sites, but also the individuals who are working to preserve them.

The 2011 sites:

Sonoran Desert, Ariz.
It’s one of the world’s most diverse desert habitats, but urban development and agricultural operations are impacting the natural flora and fauna.

McMillan Park, Washington, DC
The 25-acre park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., is on the site of a reservoir sand filtration site that ceased operation in the 1980s. Not far from the Capitol, it’s been deteriorating for the past 20 years and is threatened by increased development in the area. [list continues here]

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