New Public Lands Stores Will Celebrate and Protect Outdoor Spaces

August 25, 2021
Meet some of the guides who will lead explorers to new and exciting places.

Before she took up running in adulthood, Amber Rollo likes to joke that the only way she would have gone for a jog before is if something was chasing her. The funny thing is that, in a way, becoming a runner helped Amber pursue her dreams.

It has led her to an exciting opportunity as a General Manager of Public Lands, a store focused on exceptional and knowledgeable service, inclusivity, conservation and community activism.

The first two Public Lands stores are opening in Cranberry Twp, PA and Polaris, OH this fall. The 50,000 square foot locations will feature top brands and the best gear in hiking, camping, biking, climbing and much more.

For the newly assembled group of store leaders and guides, Public Lands offers an unrivaled opportunity to share their passions and expertise.

"We get to create this loop with our team here and the community around us," said Amber Rollo, the General Manger of the Cranberry Twp location. "We have this opportunity to connect people with nature and strengthen our connection to the planet."

With 13 years of experience in the outdoor industry, Amber continues to learn as she goes. After getting into running, she added backpacking, snow shoeing and cycling to her repertoire. Friends and colleagues were happy to guide her along the way and Amber wants to pay that forward by ensuring all explorers are welcomed with the same enthusiasm.

"The outdoor retail spaces are some of the most inclusive spaces," said Amber. "It's about helping everyone dream and aspire to do something new. The experience we are creating is about connecting people with each other and our planet. We're here to spark something different."

There are other stories like Amber's. Polaris General Manager Matt Cavanaugh was 5 years-old during a family trip to Lake Michigan when he wanted to learn to fish. His dad tied sewing thread to a tree branch and knotted a paperclip at the end. Matt didn’t catch anything that day, but he was hooked on the outdoors. Sarah Brown, an assistant store manager, tagged along with her father on ski trips. More than two decades and a few tumbles later, Sarah continues to foster a love for the slopes, and has also taken up snowboarding, rock climbing and hiking.

"When I heard about Public Lands, I knew I had to be a part of the purpose to celebrate and protect public lands for all,” said Sarah Brown. “That mission statement is so impactful. I get chills when I can now say I am part of this incredible company! We have the ability to grow the outdoor industry in a way that has never been done before and have meaningful conservations.”

Giving back is a vital part of the store’s concept as 1% of sales will be dedicated to conservation efforts. Each store takes it upon itself to organize outings that make an impact on their communities, such as building a new trail system or cleaning up blighted natural areas.

"Our public lands offer us an opportunity to feel more human," said Matt Cavanaugh. "At the same time, less than 20% of our nation gets out to utilize these lands. At Public Lands, we have an opportunity to empower people in these areas, sparking a lifelong passion in some cases. How cool is that?"

At its core, Public Lands is a connection of community and culture. It's not strictly for the high-level enthusiast, although it serves that area well. It's also for someone interested in going on a first hike, enjoying a lazy paddle or just getting out in nature in their own way.

"If you write poetry while sitting under a tree and that's your connection to nature, I want to meet you," said Amber.

Are you ready for an outdoors experience like no other? Public Lands is part of the DICK’S Sporting Goods family, a certified Great Place to Work. Go to to see how you can join the team and make a difference.