Thornton, Colorado: a Celebration of the Outdoors
On land that was once used solely for farming, Thornton, Colorado, grew as the first fully planned community in Adams County beginning in 1953. Today, 127,000-plus people live in Thornton, which lies northeast of Denver and no more than two hours from 28 major resort areas in the Rocky Mountains. With everything from skiing to camping and hiking to rafting available, the opportunities for adventure are plentiful here.
But you don’t have to leave the city center to enjoy the outdoors. Thornton offers 81 city parks and 80 miles of trails throughout the city. The community is committed to improving its environmental impact with green building and design practices including eco-focused construction for commercial and residential use.
Opportunities for Municipalization in Thornton
Opportunities to further sustainability goals in Thornton are available. Currently, the city has two private utility companies that share the duty of installing and maintaining street lights. Choosing to use solar power for the town’s street lights is a natural next step and an easy way to ensure older civic infrastructure is managed with fixed costs in the future, rather than the unknown costs associated with on-grid power. Those on-grid costs can be especially challenging to predict when the power source is also managed privately, as is currently the case in Thornton.
Thornton’s impressive park system could also benefit from solar LED park lights, which can improve community sustainability by providing light where none existed before—without the disruption to the existing landscape that traditional on-grid lighting would cause.