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Enhance Your Soundscape

A visitor in Yosemite National Park enjoys the sound of Tuloumne River
Visitors listen to the rush of a waterfall at North Cascades National Park. NPS Photo.

You can enhance your soundscape experience in our national parks by simply becoming more aware of the sounds around you. Here are a few simple steps for getting started. Many of these suggestions can be carried forward to enhance soundscape in your everyday lives, outside of national park settings. Click here for a printable version of the information below.

Close Your Eyes

Stop. Listen to what's around you.
Do you hear more with your eyes closed?

Count Sounds

Lift up a finger for each sound you hear. Use your left hand for natural sounds and your right hand for human-made sounds.

Walk and Listen

Do you hear your footsteps? Do you hear your clothes rustle? Can you walk without making any sound?

Appreciate Sounds

What is the most beautiful sound you hear? What sound is the least appealing?

Listen to Landscapes

How does the shape of the land affect the way sound travels to your ear? Where is the source of each sound? Are there any echoes? What is the closest sound you hear?

Walk in the Wild

Walk as though a predator were after you. Walk as though you were a predator.

Chat Like an Animal

Listen for an animal. What sound does the animal make? Can you make its sound?

Sound Language

Find a sound you like. How would you spell that sound on paper?

Sound Tally

Keep a tally of every kind of sound you hear on your walk. What sound do you hear the most?

Sound Size

Listen around you. Do you hear movement in a bush or tree? Can you guess the size of an animal from its

These strategies were developed with help from the Natural Sounds Society.

Last Updated: July 02, 2012