Welcome to Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island
With estimated completion scheduled for summer 2022, Cooper Park will provide a unique and memorable experience for Jefferson City area residents and visitors. The 32-acre property provides plenty of room to explore, and five of those acres encompass several amenities.
- Paved paths and nature trails (nature trails in a future phase)
- Public Art (coming soon)
- Missouri Bicentennial Chessboard
- 30’X50’ outdoor shelter with picnic tables
- Privy restroom (coming soon)
- Various park benches and viewing areas
NOW OPEN! The park is accessible during the final phase of improvements. Portions of the park may be closed to park users during construction.
Private events/rentals at Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island will not be permitted in 2022. JC Parks Commission and staff will take this first year to finish installation of all park amenities and assess how the park will function with the access bridge and its close proximity to the railroad. Passive park use versus organized events gives public safety (Police and Fire) an opportunity to learn how to best protect and assist the public as well.
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.