World Listening Day - July 18, 2011
The purposes of World Listening Day include celebrating the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and to design and implement educational initiatives. World Listening Day provides an opportunity for engaging visitors in listening to park soundscapes across the system and sharing their experiences. World Listening Day is co-organized by the World Listening Project (WLP) and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE). The National Park Service Natural Sounds Program encourages people to participate in an activity or program that includes listening during the week of July 17th. Participants in World Listening Day events are encouraged to submit narrative descriptions of their experiences or recordings of park soundscapes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Acceptable audio file formats are MP3, WAV, and AIFF. File size should not exceed 10 MB. Highlights of recordings and narratives will be posted on the Natural Sounds Program website on our Sound Gallery page.
Why is Sound Important?
Some of our most profound experiences in life are not seen; they are heard.
Our ability to see is a powerful tool for experiencing our world, but sound adds a richness that sight alone cannot provide. In many cases, hearing is the only option for experiencing certain aspects of our environment. The symphony of natural sounds within our national parks is an important natural resource and a critical component of the ecological communities that parks seek to preserve. Understanding the role of sound and acoustics in a healthy ecosystem is critical to their effective management and protection.
Elk bugling in the cool autumn air of Rocky Mountain National Park, waterfalls thundering in Yosemite Valley, canons firing at Fort McHenry National Monument, the quiet hush among giant redwoods—these are the sounds that make visiting our national parks a unique and memorable experience. Natural and cultural sounds awaken the sense of awe that connects us to the splendor of national parks and have a powerful effect on our emotions, attitudes, and memories. Who can forget the flash of adrenaline from the sound of looming whitewater or the lightning bolt that cracked just a little too close.