It’s easy to look back on 2021 and only remember the trials and challenges.
Without a doubt, the past year has been full of hurdles as we deal with the ongoing pandemic and its impact on seemingly every aspect of our daily lives.
But there’s also much to celebrate, and in Cranberry Township that celebration comes in all forms. From the completion of large projects to simply being able to gather as a community once again, we were fortunate enough to return to normalcy in many ways.
After taking a break in 2020, events like Community Days, Santa’s First Stop, and the Memorial Day ceremony returned. The Township Farmers Market grew, building on its 2020 success. New events like the Easter Bunny Tour of our Township parks added a new tradition for residents young and old.
The parks themselves were perhaps busier than ever as youth sports returned in force. Our Waterpark was consistently full of cheerful swimmers and divers. For the first time, dogs were permitted on the trails at North Boundary Park, with owners taking full advantage. Ground was broken on a new, expanded dog area in Community Park, with a grand opening forthcoming in 2022.
And speaking of openings, many long-planned projects wrapped up, improving the quality of life for our residents and visitors.
The MSA Thruway is already having a positive impact on traffic flow on Route 228, while the opening of the Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the first step in a multi-year commitment to expanding the roadway. That’s not to mention a complete rebuild of a section of Freshcorn Road, the Rochester Road widening and PennDOT’s repaving efforts on Route 19 and the completion of bridge work on Interstate 79 above North Boundary Road.
While the orange cones and barrels were perhaps a hassle this year, the result was improved infrastructure that will have a lasting impact.
Elsewhere, a new Burn Building at the Township’s Public Safety Training Center will give our first responders incomparable opportunities for hands-on training. They wasted no time this year gathering colleagues from around the region – and even worked to involve potential future firefighters.
Ribbons were also cut on two projects backed by the Cranberry Township Community Chest: the Public Library Makerspace and the Rotary Amphitheatre in Community Park. Both opened to major fanfare and will be major assets to the Township for decades to come.
Both of those projects could not have happened without the support of the community, which again came together in 2021 to help those in need. From our Snow and Leaf Angel programs to volunteer cleanup efforts, our residents and businesses were there to answer the call whenever the phone rings.
That, to me, will be the lasting memory of 2021. As I wrap up my first year as your Township Manager, I’m humbled and inspired by the commitment and dedication of the Cranberry community to help one another. There is no project too large or small, and never a shortage of people waiting to get involved to make our community better.
On behalf of our Township staff and our Board of Supervisors, I thank you for your efforts in making 2021 a banner year for Cranberry Township. I am excited for what 2022 and beyond holds for the future of our great community.