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World's Tiniest City Park Dodges Decimation

Mill's Ends Park

When you're the smallest city park in the world, it doesn’t take much to suffer an epic natural disaster—perhaps a skateboarder who veers wildly off track, or a even a German Shepherd who couldn't make it to the next hydrant.

But Portland, Oregon’s Mill’s Ends Park—just two feet across in diameter—seems to have endured some sort of foul play: Oregon Public Broadcasting recently reported that the sole tree of the petite park, on a median on Naito Parkway, had been removed. "Someone yanked it out," said Mark Ross, of Portland’s Department of Parks and Recreation, to OPB.

Mill’s End, granted, is more than just one small tree: it has also housed miniature statues, a tiny ferris wheel and even a small swimming pool (with diving board) for butterflies. The park was started in 1948 by journalist Dick Fagan, who cultivated and wrote about the park regularly (with frequent references to leprechauns) until his death in 1969. Mill’s End became an official city park in 1976, and boasts a more-than-Lilliputian following. NBC’s Parks and Recreation even paid an indirect homage, with an episode devoted to dedicating the tiniest park in fictional Pawnee, Indiana.

Happily, Mill’s End seems to have already been reforested. According to OPB, a park technician has planted a Douglas fir sapling in the heart of the park. The cost of reviving this city greenspsace: A whopping $3.25.

Photo © dk / Alamy

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