Munds Park. A Love Story.
Updated: Nov 18
Munds Park, a hidden community, nestled within the high pines of the Coconino Forest, is one of Arizona's best-kept secrets—and not for what you may think. Munds Park isn't a fabulous secret because of the playful meadows, woodland animals, or even its location in the forest. Those things are lovely, but still not the best part of Munds Park. Is it the fresh air, the smell of the pines, or the change of the seasons? Or is it the feeling that you are far away from the noise of the world, but when refreshed and ready to go, the 5th largest city is only 2 hours away, or that the groovy little town of Flagstaff is only 20 minutes north? No, still, none of those crazy good things are the best part of Munds Park. The secret my friends are the people who live here. In a world where the daily news fills our ears, minds, and hearts with all the high-level gossip happening around the world, you can't help but sometimes feel communities that genuinely reach out and help each other is something of the past. Like, all the way back to Mayberry USA. I am happy to report that in 2020 Mayberry exists, and it's right here in Munds Park! Do you know what helps tie this loving and thoughtful community together? Facebook. I know. Who would have thought? It's a great marriage between the old fashioned friendly neighbors of yesterday and the technology of today. Facebook allows neighbors to communicate and gives a birds-eye view of all that is wonderful about living in the Park. Approximately 1,500 to 15,000 people live in Munds Park depending on the season. Not a lot of folks, but enough to cause pause before inviting everyone to your house! Who invites all of Munds Park to their cabin? Well, Mundsies do because obviously it would be rude not to! Paul writes an open Facebook post saying, "Poker at my place on Saturday 6:30 p.m." and provides his home address. Ron posts that his band is in town. "Come on over! Free live music for the neighborhood!" Barbara invites all to a monthly book club, and Mark says his mother will attend, and can they bring wine or nibbles to enjoy? These posts are welcoming and warm your heart that in this day and age, people can just stop by to play poker, listen to live music or discuss a good book with neighbors. We not only enjoy open invitations, we have random acts of kindness happening all over the Park! We have community members who surprise neighbors with snow removal (thank you Wes!), neighbors passing by a cabin and kindly pulls in trash cans, or Mundsies with huge trucks that stop without a second thought to pull out drivers stuck in the snow. Munds Park is a great place to find neighborly assistance too. Kasondra Joy, who had a sick 4-month old, asked a Facebook group if anyone had Pedialyte on hand to keep from driving into town. Her call was quickly answered not only with neighbors offering their stash of Pedialyte but with well wishes too. Kasondra offered to pay back their kindness with homemade cookies. Now with COVID-19 sweeping the world, our Munds Park friends are no longer opening their doors to invite neighbors in, but love is still spreading across our Park. Gail VanDeurzen, a faithful community volunteer, is collecting items for a woman and her family in need in Flagstaff and is getting overwhelming support from our community. Robert Rydzynski posted that he didn't want anyone to go hungry during the pandemic and that if anyone needed food, to please contact him. He will share what he has! Lu Cross, another giving volunteer, is making masks for the community and for the Visiting Angels caregivers so they can safely care for our seniors. Hawkeye Haven, another Munds Park resident, purchased meals from Agee's for 250 medical professionals in Flagstaff, keeping those on the front line fueled with fantastic BBQ and supporting Agee's at the same time! Munds Park has no shortage of kind hearts willing to donate the most precious commodity we have—time. This is a beautiful volunteer community that honors our country, veterans, first responders, our land, and our neighbors. This is love. This is Munds Park USA!
This story only includes a fraction of the acts of kindness shown around our Park, and Munds Park Today would love to highlight more of these stories in the future. You can share or suggest stories for future blogs at info@MundsParkToday.com. We would love to hear from you!
If you haven't joined a Facebook group or want to see all the groups available, you can read more here.