Are you in need of a "quiet place"? Hey, sound pollution is a real thing. Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park could soon become the first area in America to have a "Quiet Designation."

According to Wikipedia, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve "is an American national park that conserves an area of large sand dunes up to 750 feet (229 m) tall[4] on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, and an adjacent national preserve located in the Sangre de Cristo Range, in south-central Colorado."

KRDO reports the Great Sand Dunes are on track to be the first designated quiet zone in the United States. Matt Mikkelsen, co-founder of Quiet Parks International, says "Quiet Parks International is the first and only organization committed to the preservation of quiet for the benefit of all living beings."

According to the Quiet Parks International webpage, their mission statement reads:

Quiet Parks International is a non-profit committed to the preservation of quiet for the benefit of all life.

Mikkelsen adds soundscape of an area is a good indicator of its overall health. "When you have a pristine soundscape you also have a pristine environment," he explained. "That means there's not resource extraction, there's no major transportation hubs or roads, the species infrastructure is intact."

I've been to the Great Sand Dunes several times. It's been a while, but I have been there. Looking back, it certainly was quiet. If memory serves, it was also very cold.

Back in May 2019 we posted the Great Sand Dunes had been officially recognized as a "Dark Sky" from the International Dark-Sky Association. The Great Sand Dunes joins three other federally managed parks in Colorado with the special "Dark Sky" designation. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison received their destination in 2015. Earlier in 2019, Dinosaur National Monument secured the recognition.

At present, there's only one other park in the world with a quiet designation. That location is an area in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

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