This park is named after Doris Cooper, Kirkland's first woman mayor, who helped lead the effort to preserve the city's waterfront parks. In 1969 Doris Cooper, Judy Frolich, and Delores Teutsch organized a telegram campaign to U.S. congressman Tom Pelly to obtain federal funding to purchase Houghton Beach Park land from the Shell and Standard Oil companies. The successful campaign brought federal grant funding to purchase, design and develop Kirkland's beloved Houghton Beach park.
In 1973 Doris Cooper was elected to the Kirkland City Council and successfully elected to 5 terms on the Council before retiring at the end of her term in 1993. She was the city’s first woman mayor in 1984, a position she held for three consecutive two-year terms. During her time on the Council Doris Cooper was also named the Seattle-King County Municipal League’s Outstanding Public Official in1987 (the Oscars of local government service) and was President of the Suburban Cities Association.
Houghton Beach Park was renamed Doris Cooper Houghton Beach Park in July 2012.