Special purpose parks are parks that provide the community with a unique purpose. They may be designated as a natural, historical, or cultural resource or have a singular purpose – such as one that only hosts an aquatic park. The service area is citywide and the size will vary.
Molly Bowden Memorial Park was dedicated to Officer Molly Bowden, a City of Columbia police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2005. Bowden Park is on land owned by Boone Hospital Center and is adjacent to Boone Hospital Nifong Medical Plaza. By mutual agreement, the park is maintained Columbia Parks and Recreation. The park has a walking trail around water features and garden areas.
Flat Branch Park is located in downtown Columbia. The park runs along Flat Branch Creek and extends across two city blocks. The park includes a gazebo, picnic areas, spraygrounds, playground, art sculpture, demonstration rain garden, historical plaques, and is a trailhead for the MKT Trail. You can travel the MKT Trail all the way from Flat Branch Park to the statewide Katy Trail without having to cross a street. There is a bridge access to the Convention and Visitors Bureau located on the other side of the creek from the park.
This beautiful garden is home to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - an art sculpture by Barbara Grygutis. The gardens can be reserved for outdoor weddings. There is a reservable picnic shelter, reservable MKT Trailside Building, and seasonal restrooms. The area also serves as a trailhead for the MKT Trail.
This 5.5-acre area is a trailhead for the MKT Trail and is located at the intersection of the MKT Trail and Scott Blvd. The area has a year-round restroom and water fountain, bike repair station, kiosk, bike rack, picnic table, two reservable rugby fields, and a 34-car parking lot. The MKT Trail connects to the County's portion of the MKT trail at this access through an underpass that leads to Jay Dix Station on the west side of Scott Blvd. The County's portion of the trail is 4.2 miles and connects to the state Katy Trail.
Nifong Park is known for its historical properties. It is home to the Boone County History & Culture Center, the historical Village at Boone Junction, and Maplewood Home and grounds. The Maplewood Barn Theater hosts live shows and the park is host to the annual Heritage Festival. The park also has a reservable shelter, fishing lake and dock, playground, picnic areas, and restrooms.
Formerly known as Old 63 Roadside Park, Sterling W. Wyatt Park was renamed in honor of Army Specialist Sterling William Wyatt, a former Shepard resident who lost his life while on patrol in Afghanistan. Park features include picnic tables, a historical marker and a scenic overlook.