It’s a Wild America: Public Lands promotes, protects the Great Outdoors
An age-old question asks, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a sound?
Though it may be an unanswerable parable, there’s no shortage of forests, mountains and green spaces to test the theory – as well as exercise, enjoy nature or simply unplug.
Public Lands, the new outdoor specialty store concept from DICK'S Sporting Goods aims to not only equip explorers with the tools they need to take advantage of the great outdoors, but to protect those lands at the same time.
The Cranberry location, located in the former Field & Stream at 1000 Cranberry Square Drive, is the first Public Lands to launch. The outskirts of the store are grouped into specialty sections, offering everything from camping gear, kayaks, fishing accessories, and bicycles, complete with an in-house repair shop. That’s in addition to the rows of clothes and footwear needed to make sure one is prepared for anything.
The store’s centerpiece is a large climbing wall that reaches skyward toward bright skylights. It’s a way for customers to try out climbing gear before purchasing – or to simply try a new hobby in a pressure-free zone.
For those who aren’t quite ready to go all-in on that new hobby, Public Lands offers rentals on equipment like kayaks, bicycles and even coolers. For those ready to take the next step, every guide has a specialty in which they are well-versed, allowing them to give insight and feedback to customers.
Public Lands also incorporates a “concierge” at the front of the store. That employee can help customers plan trips, find experts and guides, and answer any questions from beginners or pros. It’s all meant to get people outside and enjoying the great things in their backyard.
And Public Lands is taking steps to make sure that a backyard remains great. The store features local art installations highlighting the region’s most beautiful spots, along with a section of locally owned and made foods and products.
Elsewhere, the Public Lands Fund aims to support local and national initiatives that protect new lands, improve existing lands, break down the barriers of access to outdoor experiences and improve inclusion and equity in the outdoors. Donations are made nearby to the Allegheny Land Trust and Venture Outdoors.
"At Public Lands, our mission is to celebrate and protect public lands for all," said President Todd Spaletto. "We want to do this in a meaningful way and partner with organizations … to ensure our public lands and outdoor spaces are clean, preserved and open for all.”
It’s a great big world out there, and Public Lands wants to do everything it can to make sure it can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.