The City supports gardens, hoop houses, greenhouses, backyard chickens and beekeeping.
Join or Start a Community Garden
There are multiple community gardens located throughout the community. Churches, schools, libraries, or other community entities set up and manage their community gardens on their own. Any resident that wants to garden at these community gardens is invited to join in. The City and Adams Community Gardens CO-OP partner to provide assistance to these gardens.
If you would like to join an existing community garden, please view the community garden flyer to the right for information and locations of existing community gardens.
If you are interested in establishing a new community garden in Thornton, contact Neighborhood Services to discuss your plan and learn about the resources to help with establishing the garden.
Tips for Gardeners
Gardeners are invited to attend a monthly meeting where members from the CSU Extension Master Gardener program are present to lend their expertise. These Adams Community Gardens CO-OP meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. from March to October at The Senior Hub Adult Day Service Office, 2360 West 90th Avenue in Federal Heights. Meeting dates, times and locations may change. You are welcome to contact Tom Rapp, the Adams Community Gardens CO-OP Coordinator at email@example.com or 303-955-6609 to confirm the meeting date, time and location.
Water Credit & Supply Grant
Community gardens in Thornton are eligible to receive water credits and a supply grant if they follow the following policies:
- Be located within the city limits.
- Adhere to the City of Thornton Community Garden Ordinance and other related ordinances.
- Allow for any Thornton resident who wants to garden.
- Donate a substantial amount of the produce to area food banks/pantries.
- Report on food donated and provide financial receipts at the end of the season for supply grant.
- Have the property owner sign the registration form to confirm his/her/their authorization to host a community garden on the property.
To register a community garden and apply for the water credit and supply grant, complete the community garden registration form.
Hoop Houses or Greenhouses
Extend your gardening season by building a hoop house, a temporary greenhouse constructed of multiple hoops. Hoop houses constructed with fabric or plastic walls and roof and that are less than five feet in height are permitted without a permit. Traditional greenhouses are considered a structure and require a permit unless they are 120 square feet or smaller. Hoop houses are permitted in the rear yard only when used at a single-family home.
Keeping Chickens and Bees
Backyard chickens can be kept in certain single-family zones. Chickens may not be kept as part of a community garden. No more than six chickens are permitted per residential lot and only female chickens are allowed. For more information on keeping chickens in your backyard, view the city ordinance or contact Animal Control at 720-977-5250.
Beekeeping is allowed at community gardens and at single-family homes. In order to keep and maintain a bee hive on your property, you must submit a beekeeping permit application to the Building Inspection Division. Beekeeping permit applications can be found on the right hand side of this page. Any questions regarding the permit should be directed to Building Permits at 303-538-7250. For more information regarding areas permitted and beekeeping practices, read through the city ordinance on bees. Any questions about beekeeping practices can be directed to Animal Control at 720-977-5250.