An interview with Matt Mikkelsen of Quiet Parks International

The Importance of Quiet | Ep. 013

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Adam Bronstein and Matt Mikkelsen

Release Date: July 24th, 2019

In episode 013, I interview Matt Mikkelsen with Quiet Parks International. We discuss the importance of quiet for humans and wildlife, the work of QPI, One Square Inch of Silence, noise pollution in Olympic National Park from military aircraft, the work of Gordon Hempton and about Matt and his conservation-based film company Spruce Tone Films. I had a great time with Matt on the banks of the Mckenzie River in Central Oregon. Thanks for tuning in and for your support.


Quiet Parks International (QPI) is a non-profit committed to the preservation of quiet for the benefit of all life. It is a 501-c3 tax-exempt charitable organization under the Internal Revenue Service. QPI was formerly known as the One Square Inch of Silence Foundation (OSI).

In 2005, OSI was heralded as a naturally silent national treasure by acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, Founding Member of Quiet Parks International, who deemed it the least noise-polluted spot in the lower 48 states.


Quiet is Scarce

QPI recognizes the immediate need for identifying and protecting endangered locations because quiet places are quickly becoming extinct.

Noise is Harmful

Noise pollution causes cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep disturbance, annoyance, cognitive impairment, hearing impairment and tinnitus, and reduces quality of life, well being and mental health. (Sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorder)


Benefits of Quiet

  • Health: Reduces stress, anxiety, repetitive thoughts, heart rate, blood pressure; promotes neurogenesis

  • Attention Restoration: Improves cognitive abilities, reasoning, engagement

  • Pro Social Behavior: Increases generosity, trust, awe, wonder

  • Workplace: Improves mood, concentration, cognition, wellbeing

  • Natural Sounds: Reduces post-surgical pain, brings calm

Quiet is Gold

Silence is golden. But quiet is gold. As the world gets noisier, we have an increasing number of people who want to experience quiet. They want to live in a quiet residence, community or hotel, visit an urban quiet park regularly, give their children an experience of natural quiet at a wilderness quiet park, or use a product, such as, noise cancelling headphones. People value quiet and are willing to pay for a quiet experience. For example, research has shown that the economic value of quiet recreation is worth billions of dollars. (Source: The Economic Value of ‘Quiet Recreation’ on BLM Lands) As a result, land owners/managers value quiet, as it makes them money, and preserve it. Quiet is Gold is a good reminder that sustainable economic development can benefit all life.

Our Mission

Quiet Parks International is currently creating a set of classifications, standards, testing methods, and management guidelines for the certification of the world’s pristine and endangered quiet places. Quiet Parks International has established the world’s first Wilderness Quiet Park and developed a list of over 262 potential sites around the globe that should be certified and preserved.

Our Vision

Quiet Parks International provides assistance with research, education, advocacy and conservation efforts to protect quiet for future generations.

QPI Advantage

  • Culture of Quiet: Reducing noise pollution is not the same as quiet conservation

  • First Mover: No other organisation is about quiet preservation

  • Experience with Quiet: Over 50 years of experience in quiet

  • Social Movement: QPI is a social movement made of people across the world - from investors to volunteers - who believe in quiet

  • Proven Methodology: Co Founder, Gordon Hempton’s, methodology is tested and proven over the decades

  • Standards Committee: QPI committee members are among the best in the industry from across the world


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