Parks Foundation

​Jefferson City is home to an award winning Parks and Recreation Department. As the capital city of Missouri, maintaining our local parks and recreation facilities and programs to meet the ever changing needs of our community and its visitors is a challenge.

The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Foundation strives to provide additional resources to leverage taxes, fees and grants to enhance our parks and recreation services. Over the years, civic minded individuals and organizations have maintained a tradition of enhancing the quality of life for their families, friends, and neighbors through generous donations to the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation system.

In 1992, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Foundation was formed to provide continuing leadership and foster the expansion of parks and recreation services in Jefferson City. The Foundation’s goal is to emphasize the value of parks and recreation – both passive and active – not only for individual growth and development, but also for a strong family unit and for making our community a more desirable place to live, work, play and visit.

If you believe, as we do, that wholesome recreation pursuits make individuals more productive in their homes and communities and lead to a healthier and happier life, please commit your support to the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Foundation. Land, trees, fountains, benches, shelters, activity fees for youth programs are all gifts that can make a difference in people’s lives. Any and all size gifts to our community are appreciated and contribute to the livability and quality of life of Jefferson City.

Click below to donate online. For more information on how you can make a tax deductible contribution of land, money, or other gifts, please contact the Foundation’s Executive Director Todd Spalding at (573) 634-6482.

Bicentennial Bridge and Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island

The Missouri Capitol receives over 400,000 visitors annually, and visitors often express an interest in connecting with the Missouri River and a park to enjoy the views. 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 slopes 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.

The island is a passive recreational area with trails allowing visitors to experience the riparian environment along the banks of the Missouri River.

​The project location offers visitors views of the Governor’s Mansion and Lohman’s Landing State Historic Site. Lohman’s Landing was the original settlement, which became Missouri’s State Capital and the City of Jefferson.

The Bicentennial Bridge and Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island Park opened in December 2021. Visit for more information about the project.

Youth Scholarship Program

Every child deserves access to parks and recreation programs regardless of their financial situation. Youth scholarships are available to Jefferson City area families who need financial assistance so their children can participate in organized recreation activities.

Some youth programs are ineligible for Scholarship funding. Examples include modified/competitive sports leagues that register by team rather than by individual; outdoor recreation activities; and optional equipment purchases.


Eligible families are those who receive assistance through TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and/or Food Stamps.

Supporting documentation from Missouri Department of Social Services is required upon submitting an application.

  • Current “Notice of Eligibility”; OR
  • List of “Eligible Case Members”; AND
  • Parent/Guardian Photo Identification

How it works

  1. Complete a scholarship application.
  2. Once approved, you will receive a $200 credit from JC Parks Foundation for each child in your household to use on the current year’s eligible programs.
  3. When registering for eligible programs, you are responsible for 20% of the program fee. The remaining 80% of the fee will be paid from your child’s Foundation credit.
  4. All credits expire on December 31. Scholarship applications need to be submitted every year.

Click here to download the Scholarship Application.

Children receiving assistance from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Central Missouri Foster and Adoption Association (CMFAA) are also eligible for scholarships. Click here for the CASA/CMFAA Scholarship Application.

Questions about eligible programs or other inquiries? Email Laurence Hogg, JC Parks Community Equity and Inclusion Manager, or call (573) 634-6492.

Memorial Trees and Benches

Honor a loved one with a park tree or bench dedicated to their memory.

Memorial Trees

Applications are accepted year-round. Trees will be planted September 1 through March 31 each year. From the possible choices, you may choose park location and tree species. PLEASE note your priority. Parks staff will make every effort to fulfill the requested species and location. If the application does not align with Parks master plan, modifications can be made to the application.

The donor will receive notice that the tree has been planted along with a map to the location. Trees will be given one replacement at donor’s choice. After that, parks staff will replace with a new species if applicable.

Memorial Tree Application

Memorial Benches

Metal benches with plaques embedded in the bench back are available at various parks.

Memorial Bench Application