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.
Best View in Town
Deborah Cooper Park provides a unique and memorable experience for Jefferson City area residents and visitors. This 32-acre property provides plenty of room to explore, and five of those acres encompass several amenities.
- Paved paths and nature trails
- Public Art
- Missouri Bicentennial Chessboard
- 30’X50’ outdoor shelter with picnic tables
- Privy restroom (coming soon)
- Various park benches and viewing areas
THIS PARK IS 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 2023. 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.