Not only is today St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the day in 1948 that a guy in Portland, Oregon, created what is still the world’s smallest park.
The park is called Mill Ends Park, and its founder was Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal paper.
He worked in an office overlooking a busy parkway.
In the middle the city had built the base for a light pole, but the pole wasn’t there.
Weeds were growing in the hole, so Fagan decided to rip them out and put in some flowers instead.
His newspaper column was called Mill Ends, named for the ends of boards used by paper mills, so he called the place Mill Ends Park.
Fagan was of Irish descent, so he chose St. Patrick’s Day as the dedication day.
Plus, he decided Mill Ends Park would be home to a colony of leprechauns, the only colony west of Ireland (though only Fagan could see them and their leader, Patrick O’Toole).
In the 1970s Mill Ends Park became an official park of Portland’s park system.
It was, of course the smallest part, with just one tree.
So residents started adding other amenities, like a little swimming pool and a tiny Ferris wheel.
Like other parks, it’s been the site of protests, usually just one person at a time.
And there has been nefarious activity from time to time: in 2013, someone stole the park’s only tree!
They returned it about a week later.
And several times the park has been moved, because of improvements and repairs to the parkway.
It now stands six inches from its original location.
The city says it hopes “park visitors can find the park in its new location without a map.”
Here’s something else that’s small and beloved: it’s Peeps season again!
The Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin is gearing up for the 14th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition.
You can drop off your finished dioramas between now and March 26th.
You have been working on those already, haven’t you?
Mill Ends Park (Portland.gov)
Call for Artists: RAM 13th Annual International Peeps Art Exhibition
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