Great Sand Dunes Could Become the First Quiet Zone in the U.S.
Colorado's Great Sand Dunes are on the way to becoming the nation's first quiet zone. The Great Sand Dunes is one of over 260 locations in the world to be protected.
The Great Sand Dunes International Park was recently recognized as an 'international dark sky destination.' This means it's one of the few places left on earth where the noise pollution doesn't obscure the dark night sky and it's not the only recognition the Dunes are getting.
Mat Mikkelsen is the co-founder of Quiet Parks International which is committed to the preservation of quiet for the benefit of all living beings, according to KRDO. Matt says a pristine soundscape is indiction of a pristine environment.
Animals can become stressed out when exposed to too much noise, just like people. Matt says the reason why the Great Sand Dunes National Park was chosen, is because of the lack of sound:
There's the wind through the grass, there are birds, there's elk bugling, but there's not a whole lot of noise pollution there...
Sounds from nature are okay in designated quiet zones, those aren't the problem. It's noise pollution from things like cars, fracking and more that are the issue.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of over 260 locations all over the world that were chosen to be protected. According to KRDO, the only other quiet zone destination that's located in a park in the world is in Ecuador. The quiet zone is a 200,000 acre area along the Zabola River.
Matt's hope is that the more the world gets educated, the more they'll want to help protect these areas.