Boulder County Parks & Open Space


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Cropland Policy

In 2011 the Cropland Policy was approved. The policy set a goal to have at least 20% of open space agriculture cropland to be certified organic or in transition by 2020.

"Boulder County shall prioritize opportunities for organic operations on POS land and continue expansion of certified organic agriculture on Open Space land with the goal of maintaining a growth rate in acres leased for organic agriculture that meets or exceeds the national growth rate of organic acres in each year, with the goal of reaching or exceeding 20% of cropland certified organic or in transition by 2020, if market forces allow. Boulder County will work with producers, the natural foods industry, and other stakeholders to explore and expand market opportunities."

Cropland Policy
Organic field
Organic greenhouse


Total Open Space Agriculture Acres 25,000
Cropland Acres 16,000
2020 Goal of Organic Acres 3,200
Current Organic Acres 1,940
Remaining Acres to Meet 20% Goal 1,260

Increase of Certified and Transitioning Organic Acres 2007 - 2014

Increase of  885%  in 8 years

Organic Crops Grown on Open Space

  • Alfalfa
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Field Corn
  • Garlic
  • Grass
  • Greens
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat

And lots more!



Hosted "Is Organic an Option For Me?" conference in April 2014 with 135 registered participants
Continued organic farming education with 3 follow up "Organic Conversation" workshops
Hosted "Organic Certification" workshop in December 2014 with the Colorado Department of Agriculture
Increased organic acreage by 412 acres through the bid process in 2014
Hired 2 seasonals for an "Organic Weed Control Crew"
2014 Organic Program Investments
Infrastructure Improvements $ 98,200
Rent Reduction $ 14,800
Weed Control Crew $ 19,500
TOTAL $132,500

Organic Program Investments


Boulder County provides various incentives to help farmers transition to organic.

Lease Bid Preference

When a property is available for lease, preference is given to those who submit a realistic organic management plan.

Rent Reduction

Rent is reduced by 50% for the first 5 years.

Organic Certification

Boulder County helps pay the certification cost.


We share the cost for an organic crop/marketing consultant.

Infrastructure Improvements

Irrigation, fencing, buildings, etc.

Weed Control Crew

We provide a team to help remove weeds along ditches, fence lines, etc.

The Plan

#1 Maintain certified organic acres and work with producers interested in transitioning to organic 1,940 acres
#2 Identify potential acres to transition to organic 1,220 acres
#3 Use bid process to increase organic acres 200 acres