I got a sneak preview of the new Field & Stream store here the other day. And I was totally impressed. It is gorgeous, it’s fun to browse, its staff is deeply informed about outdoor life, and it seems to have a great inventory with all types of camping, hunting and fishing gear. I think it’s going to be a huge success.
But why, you may ask, is it here in Cranberry? After all, the store’s parent company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, operates more than 500 stores throughout North America and it could have chosen just about anywhere it wanted to develop its prototype Field & Stream store.
Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have a theory.
In business, retail follows rooftops. In the case of Cranberry, those rooftops – and the people under them – form an exceptionally high quality active community. Our residents are engaged in a variety of outdoor interests including hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting – all of which must have signaled the company that they’ve chosen the right spot.
That’s not just a coincidence; the Township – with strong support and direction from its Board of Supervisors – has worked diligently to promote that kind of culture. We have gone to great lengths to develop a park system worthy of a great community.
On any given weekend, you’ll see thousands of people in our parks. You’ll see parents watching their kids play soccer, football, and softball on our excellent playing fields. You’ll see cheerleaders preparing to lead the fans who watch their kids’ sports. You’ll see adults and kids enjoying our new Scout Plaza Fishing Lake. You’ll find bicyclists, runners, and people just strolling our walking paths. In North Boundary Park, on any warm summer day, you’ll find plenty of serious, as well as not-so-serious swimmers, enjoying the Waterpark.
And several years ago, our Cranberry Highlands was identified by Golf Digest as the best municipal golf course in the state.
However it doesn’t stop there. Being a physically active and healthy community is simply one aspect of becoming one of America’s most desirable communities. And that, in essence, is Cranberry’s strategic plan: to become the most attractive place to live, work and play in the United States. So we invest significant resources in expanding our library, in scaling up our waterworks infrastructure, in enhancing our public buildings, and on improving our roadways. We’ve just built a great new playground. We’ve added two new training facilities to our Public Safety department. And we’ve got even more in the works.
This past spring we had some terrific validation for all those efforts: Business Week/Bloomberg News identified Cranberry as the best place in Pennsylvania to raise kids, and the fourth best in the entire country. Their recognition was a complete surprise to us; we didn’t even know about it until it was announced. So that’s very gratifying. But it shows we still have work to do before becoming the nation’s leading community, which I really believe we can become. So stay tuned.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about Cranberry’s new store and the Township’s effort to become the nation’s foremost family community. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org