The Gilbert Independent covers America’s largest town, having grown from 1,971 people in 1970 to 29,805 people in 1990 to 267,918 in the 2020 census, a growth of 798.9% in the past 30 years.
Gilbert once was known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World” when the Roosevelt Dam and the Consolidated Canal supplied enough water to feed farmers’ alfalfa fields and the Eastern Railroad gave them easy shipping for their product.
Today, it is a vibrant municipality with young, affluent families and growing employment corridors. Key industries include life sciences, clean technology and renewable energy, aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, advanced business services, finance and insurance. The town often is recognized in national lifestyle and livability rankings.
The school system is highly rated, served by three public school districts — Gilbert Public Schools, Higley USD and Chandler USD — as well as a number of charter schools. Higher education also is represented with Park University’s Gilbert campus and the University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Science Nursing-Integrative Health program sharing the town’s University Building and Chandler-Gilbert Community College sitting on the border.
Gilbert’s parks are popular destinations for family recreation and youth sports. They include Gilbert Regional Park, Freestone District Park, McQueen District Park, Crossroads District Park, Discovery District Park, Cactus Yards, Desert Sky Park and Cosmo Dog Park.
Top attractions in town include the Heritage District with its variety of eating establishments on Restaurant Row, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch and SanTan Village, an outdoor shopping mall. HD South museum and Hale Centre Theatre are among the cultural spots.
The Gilbert Independent began publishing as a weekly newspaper known as the Gilbert News on Jan. 26, 1978, and then took the Independent name Feb. 1, 1983. It changed from a weekly to a monthly newspaper after May 30, 2012, and ceased publication after the February 2015 edition. Community Impact Newspaper out of Texas opened a Gilbert monthly edition in September 2018, and Independent Newsmedia purchased Community Impact’s Arizona operations July 1, 2022, relaunching the Gilbert Independent.
The monthly print newspaper focuses on schools, business, town government, transportation and real estate. The newspaper is delivered in mailboxes through most of Gilbert.
The digital newspaper covers the entire Town of Gilbert, delivering readers stories on issues affecting their quality of life and promoting involvement in their local neighborhoods through people, entertainment and business news.
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