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World Listening Day - July 18, 2013

Visitor in Grand Canyon National Park
A visitor contemplates the sound of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Photo © Global Explorers / Laura Portalupi.

World Listening Day provides an opportunity for engaging visitors in listening to park soundscapes across the country and sharing their experiences. World Listening Day is co-organized by the World Listening Project (WLP) and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE).

Why devote a day to listening?

On World Listening Day, we celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology. It is also a great day to design and implement educational initiatives related to natural sounds.

How can I get involved?

  • Check out our Teaching Soundscapes page for ideas to get you started on your own World Listening Day activity!
  • Share what you're doing via the World Listening Day website.
  • Listen actively wherever you may be on July 18th!
  • On July 18, share the sounds you hear on the National Park Service's Facebook 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.

Last Updated: July 02, 2013