Throughout western Pennsylvania, Cranberry Township is considered a new community, and in many respects it is. But Cranberry was actually incorporated more than 200 years ago, in 1804. Artifacts of its past, including a one-room schoolhouse next to the Municipal Center, have been meticulously documented and restored by the Township’s historical society.
Cranberry includes just over 23 square miles and a population of more than 30,000 – up from less than 15,000 in 1990. One reason for that rapid growth has been its prime location. Situated at the intersection of two major Interstate highways, I-79 and the PA Turnpike, Cranberry is easily accessible from anywhere in the region.
Cranberry has enjoyed a balanced economy. In addition to being a regional retail center with an easy commute from Pittsburgh, the heart of Cranberry’s local economy is its growing family of corporate, industrial and research organizations. Today, more people commute to jobs in Cranberry than the other way around. That’s because Cranberry is the region’s emerging center for technology, engineering and customer service.
Cranberry is home to major operations of McKesson, Kawneer, an Alcoa Company, Mine Safety Appliance and Westinghouse. It is also the base for a growing number of leading edge startups as well as for manufacturing, finance, retail and hospitality businesses. Easy Interstate connections, low taxes, and a highly-educated workforce make Cranberry Township a great place to do business.
Educational excellence is something Cranberry takes seriously. The Township is served by the Seneca Valley School District, a rising star in the region’s public education system. It includes a network of nine schools, including three in the Township itself. Saint Kilian Parish School, and North Catholic High School — is also in located in Cranberry.
The Regional Learning Alliance — a unique campus shared more than a dozen institutions of higher education — is located in the Cranberry Woods Business Park. Collectively, these schools offer a variety of business, professional, and liberal arts curricula for both traditional and non-traditional students. Branch campuses of several other colleges are also located in Cranberry. Butler County Community College (BC3) has a branch campus in the Township. And Pittsburgh’s great universities including University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie-Mellon, Duquesne and more, are just a short drive away.
Cranberry is chartered as a Township of the second Class under Pennsylvania law. It is governed by a five-member elected Board of Super visors which sets policy. That policy is administered by an appointed manager who oversees the Township’s staff of more than 100 full-time employees. Cranberry is located in Butler County where tax rates for both businesses, individuals, and property owners are among the lowest in the region. Cranberry Township’s own municipal tax rates are also among western Pennsylvania’s lowest. Yet Cranberry’s financial strength has been awarded a very high rating by Moody’s Investor Service.
In addition to two major interstate highways that cross in Cranberry, the Township is served by several major regional highways and a growing network of parallel local roads. Investor-owned utilities sering Cranberry provide abundant gas, electric, and feature-rich communication ser vices. water, sewer and residential solid waste disposal services are provided by the Township government.
The demographic profile of Cranberry Township shows a young, healthy, well-educated, and prosperous population. The percentage of households with pre-school and school-age children is well above average for Southwestern Pennsylvania. And along with its growth as a global technology center, the Township is attracting an increasingly diverse population.
As a family-friendly community, Cranberry takes recreation to heart with three major public parks plus a Waterpark, a skatepark, and a dog park as well as Cranberry Highlands, selected by Golf Digest as Pennsylvania’s best municipal golf course in 2009.
Quality of Life
One of Cranberry’s greatest attractions is the high quality of life available to residents. It includes a great selection of housing, low crime rates, excellent recreational amenities, first-rate healthcare services, an outstanding public library, easy access to regional cultural attractions, a strong voluntary sector, a well-respected public school system and branch campuses of many higher education institutions.