First Things

Something Audible

Podcast features nature ‘soundwalk’

You might pay lots of attention to what you’re seeing when out in nature, but what about what you’re hearing?

A podcast created by a local biologist for the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy will teach people to use their ears to gain a new perspective on local preserves. She also hopes it will help people find inner balance by deepening their connections to nature.

Soundwalking in the Time of COVID-19, recorded by Sharon Gill, a SWMLC board member and a professor of biological sciences at Western Michigan University, leads participants through a series of listening exercises to help them hear the sounds of nature while walking at a Land Conservancy preserve or natural area. Participants are encouraged to listen to the podcast for the first set of instructions, walk while listening to the natural sounds around them, then pause to resume the podcast and the next instruction.

The entire podcast may take up to 45 minutes to complete, but you can easily shorten the exercise to fit your needs. (Suggestions for shortening it are included in the recording.) To access the podcast, visit

Need some ideas on places to walk? Read: Five Faves: These nature preserves offer winter wonders