This past Thursday, April 22nd was my first visit to the UMore Park grounds in Rosemount and Vermillion Highlands. Though somewhat developed with structures for farming facilities and administrative buildings, the land was relatively desolate and gated in sparse areas where it wasn't just open space. Driving into the property, I saw and photographed remnants of the land's previous uses as a federal government's site known as Gopher Ordnance Works (started in May 1942), a facility to produce "smokeless powder," the basic propellant for American military ordnance at the time during WWII. In speaking more with Julie Bodurtha, the External Relations Coordinator of the park, I understand the land is now currently under an alternative area-wide review for testing its water and soil. This is happening due to the unknowns about what potentially destructive chemicals were used on the land during that time, and how they could affect UMore's current and future developments.
I stopped into the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center to grab a map of the grounds and some literature on the current developments of the region. The map below is a rough sketch of the property, though one I tried to follow to record some audio samples and photos of the land. I started at the Research Center, spot 2 on the map. Unfortunately there is no digital example of this map, so I did my best and took a photo to share here. I will ask for a better copy upon my next visit.
I took as many sound recordings as possible using an iPhone application at landmarks on the map as well as some other notable stops. They are recorded below, with location noted by the number as it correlates to parts of the map:
Along County Road 46 driving into the facility (near the first UMore Park sign):
61.0 dB SPL with a 78.4 dB Max, -1.4 dB Ref
#2: Rosemount Research & Outreach Center:
78.6 dB SPL with a 79.5 dB Max, 18.3 dB Ref
Master Gardener Educational & Research Gardens (across from the Research Center):
47.0 dB SPL with an 81.9 dB Max
#3: Beef Facilities (North)
59.1 dB SPL with an 84.9 Max, -3.4 dB Ref
#4: Poultry Facilities
67.2 dB SPL with a 90.9 dB Max, 4.8 dB Ref
#5: West Research Complex
53.2 dB SPL, 87.2 dB Max, 0.0 dB Ref
#6: South Research Complex
73.3 dB SPL, 84.5 dB Max, 10.9 dB Ref
#7: Contracts and Leasing Office
67.4 dB SPL with an 84.7 dB Max, -1.0 dB Ref
I was unable to get to points #8 & #9 on the map to record in the following manner. I do think that this visit was a great trial run in getting some sound samples of areas on the property, if for no other reason than to figure out what works and what doesn't work. In trying to work out a system of consistency, I tried to take each sound recording directly at its landmark (ex: the sign that welcomes guests of the property to UMore Park, or the sign that shows the address of the Research and Outreach Center, etc), and facing in towards the land. I say this because several of these sights - #1, 2, 4, & 5 - were all directly off of a busy road (County Road 46), and thus caught the audio from traffic passing by - though I suppose in this way, the sample is accurate, it is also picking up ambient, temporary noise.