In this Park Facility
About Mark Cotton Field at Grant Park
Mark Cotton was a highly respected math and physical education teacher, and a valued, highly regarded community member. He was the track and cross-country coach at Grant High School from 1965 to 1990. During that time period, the programs had numerous team and individual state championships.
The Mark Cotton Field at Portland Public Schools’ Grant High School was updated to a top-tier facility in 2013, thanks to an innovative public/private partnership. Portland Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish led the effort to bring NIKE, the Friends of Grant Athletics, NFL football star Ndamukong Suh (Grant Class of 2005), and the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation on board to make the turf athletic field at Grant High School possible. The all-weather field has an adjacent synthetic track and opened in September 2013.
After a decade of robust use by the community and school teams, the field failed safety testing and was closed for permitted sports uses in August 2023. Portland Parks & Recreation and Portland Public Schools are working together to find alternative sites for Grant High School sports practices and games.
The park is named after Ulysses S. Grant who visited Portland three times, a rare thing for a president to do in the days before air travel - or even before standardized rail travel! Grant was first assigned to Fort Vancouver where he made friends with many of Portland's politicians.
Grant Park was the setting for many scenes in children's books by Beverly Cleary. In 1991, a group of teachers, librarians, and business people formed the Friends of Henry & Ramona, and began to raise funds for the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children. Portland artist Lee Hunt created life-sized bronze statues of three of Cleary's best-loved characters - Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Henry's dog Ribsy. Scattered around the concrete slab are granite plaques engraved with the titles of the Cleary books that take place in Portland - and a map of the neighborhood showing where events in the books "really happened." The Sculpture Garden was dedicated on October 13, 1995.
- Street parking
- Paved pathway to play area with slight slope
- 50 feet to play area
- Engineered mulch surface
- Ramp into play area
- Transfer station
- Accessible restroom
- Accessible spray feature
- Picnic site