The Quiet Parks Program aims to provide national park units with management tools and resources for reducing park-generated noise sources. Park noise may be generated from HVAC systems, maintenance trucks, PA Systems, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, administrative overflights, vehicle fleets, road resurfacing, or construction equipment.
In 2012, the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division (NSNSD) held a national noise program workshop. Noise control experts and park managers were invited to identify best management practices and available technologies needed to protect park acoustic resources. The results from this workshop are published in a National Academy of Engineers (NAE) report. The Quiet Parks Program grew from this report.
Through the Quiet Parks Program, NSNSD will work with park managers, providing technical expertise and guidance to reduce the effects of park-generated noise on park resources and visitors using the following process:
- Identify noise sources.
- Assess impacts to park resources and values.
- Reduce park noise through actions like retrofitting noisy machinery, purchasing new equipment and scheduling noisy activities to avoid conflicts.
- Measure the effectiveness of noise reduction strategies.
- Develop a plan for ongoing and future noise reducing actions.
Parks that work through the Quiet Parks Program will be eligible for certification as an NPS Certified Quiet Park. The certification will recognize and highlight park efforts to minimize noise from NPS activities.
This flowchart outlines the current process for obtaining quiet park certification; however, the tools and resources provided may be used by parks in a piecemeal fashion to minimize noise without completing the entire certification process.