Welcome to Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island
Explore Jefferson City’s premiere riverfront park. Whether watching the sun rise over the Missouri River, the sun set behind the Capitol dome, or trains coming and going…you’re surrounded by the best views in town.
With estimated completion scheduled for spring 2022, Cooper Park will provide a unique and memorable experience for Jefferson City area residents and visitors.
- Paved paths and nature trails
- Public Art
- Life-size chessboard
- 30’X50’ outdoor shelter with picnic tables
- Privy restroom
- Various park benches and viewing areas
The 12-foot wide pedestrian/bicycle bridge connects the Missouri State Capitol Complex to the 30-acre parkland located north of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Bicentennial Bridge spans the railroad and slope gently down to meet the existing ground elevation at Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island. The slope of the trail and bridge meets ADA standards, enabling all users full access to enjoy the riverfront.
Personalized donor pavers are located on the bridge landing. Available in two sizes, the stone pavers may be purchased through Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Foundation.
Cooper Park History
Deborah Cooper (1952-1986) embodied the giving spirit of Jefferson City. Along with her dedicated employment with Central Bank, Mrs. Cooper was also involved with United Way of Central Missouri and City of Jefferson Environmental Quality Commission. Upon her death, the Deborah Cooper Historical Memorial Park Foundation was established. Foundation contributions were donated to the development of a park on Adrian’s Island.
Wing dikes were constructed in the 1960’s by the Corps of Engineers along the Missouri River on the south bank of the State Capitol. Over time, sand and dirt from the river amassed, creating and “island”. The Adrian family became owners of the newly formed land in 1967, then gifted the land to Jefferson City Housing Authority in 1974. In 2019, the Housing Authority sold Adrian’s Island to City of Jefferson, care of the Parks and Recreation Department, for $10.00. The agreement included clauses to use the name of “Deborah Cooper Park” as well as “Adrian” when referring to the property.
Sources: Smith, Jenny. “Adrian’s Island: Something out of Nothing.” Historic City of Jefferson, 16 Jan. 2021; Obituary of Deborah Cooper, Jefferson City News Tribune, January 1986.