A place in the country...
Located a little over an hour from New York City, Arrow Park is literally hundreds of miles away from day-to-day life. This is how it was originally intended. This is how it continues to be today.
AROW Farms (as it was originally named) was a refuge, a getaway, a vacation place for mid-century immigrants looking for a place to share their heritage, a place to express their traditions and and a place to keep ethnic and social connections alive. It was a "place in the country," a place to rekindle the spirit – and a place to refresh the humanity of their hard working bodies and souls.
While much has changed in America culture throughout the past seven decades, driving through the gates of Arrow Park today, it is easy to see why this property attracted it's founders and the generations since.
Arrow Park is a place of simplicity. Surrounded by forest with the western portion of the property bordering Arrow Lake – the unassuming grandeur and sense of well-being one feels while on the property is complimented by it's quirkiness and natural beauty.
In it's early years, those that lived and visited here would have gardens, share stories and make life decisions. They would socialize, educate and celebrate. During the week, the property was managed by volunteers tending the maintenance and sustainability of the property.
“A People's Place,” Arrow Park was also the destination for larger gatherings and community occasions. Throughout the 70's it was common for bus-loads of “city folk” to come to the property simply to "get away." Gatherings were oftentimes educational. Sometimes political. Always recreational – in the broadest sense of the word. Arrow Park attracted the famous and common.
“In the summer of 1977... I was at a picnic just north of New York at Arrow Park. Pete Seeger came down from his home (on the Hudson) to spend the day with us and, of course, work his magic in front of a microphone.
Near the end of the day I was in the big kitchen helping clean up. It had been a perfect day; the weather, the food, the camaraderie, the reminiscing of the high and low days of the 60s and 70s and Pete.
The kitchen had a screen door and I heard a voice excusing himself and wondering if he could get another one of those ice cream bars that was served at lunch before he headed home. Yeah, it was Pete and I had the pleasure of giving him that ice cream bar.”
– Bill Appelhans
Though times have changed, the inherent values and intent of Arrow Park endure. We all are naturally attracted to places which calm our spirit, encourage our creativity and simply allow us the “space to be more human.” Without pretense, outside the mainstream, maintained but purposely “under-developed,” Arrow Park has remained such a place.
It is the goal of our non-profit, Friends of Arrow Park, Inc. to continue to provide a place for affordable cultural activities for all people – a place to celebrate our diverse and common cultures and history.
Friends of Arrow Park Inc. is headquartered in Monroe, NY, and is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible. The organization is classified by the IRS NTEE system under Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose within the Arts, Culture and Humanities category, with a ruling year of 2018.