PORTLAND -- A tiny park in Southwest Portland is listed as the world's smallest park in the Guinness Book of World Records, but a city in the UK wants to change that.
Some people in the town of Burntwood in Lichfield, Staffordshire, believe that their Princes Park truly deserves the honor.
According to an online news source called Lichfieldlive, the organizer of a fund-raising event dubbed "the world's shortest fun run" said Portland's Mill Ends Park is nothing but a "glorified flower pot" and doesn't truly fit the description of a park.
"A well respected web-based dictionary source states a park is an area of land, usually in a largely natural state, for the enjoyment of the public, having facilities for rest and recreation, often owned, set apart, and managed by a city, state, or nation. Mill Ends Park in no way can be classed as a park, its a glorified flower pot," Kevin Wilson, of KP events, said in the online report. "Princes Park has a fence around it, a bench and 3 trees, it’s managed by Lichfield District Council, it is by any definition a park!”
Mill Ends Park is two feet in diameter, made up of just a small patch of grass, a few plants and one tree. It earned the Guinness title of World's Smallest Park in 2007 and has not been knocked off the pedestal since.
Mark Ross, a spokesman with Portland Parks and Recreation, said the city was not about to let the title fall now, either.
“It is a city park. It’s maintained, watered and weeded, planted just like any other city park. We develop resources to it. It’s a proud part of our city’s history,” he said. “This park has a legacy and a history in our city that goes back from the 1940s until today.”
"It's the only Leprechaun colony west of Ireland," he added with a grin. "I just think some folks across the pond are trying to stir up some trouble. People are envious of our size, what can I say. They'll have to get over it."
Mill Ends Park came to be in the 1940's. It was supposed to be the base for a light pole, but that light never went in, and it became a green space instead.
The park recently got more national attention when its lone tree was stolen.
Then a story posted on kgw.com about the tree theft went viral and soon after, someone spotted the discarded tree and it was recovered.
By that point, a new Douglas Fir had already been planted in the tiny park. So officials with Portland Parks & Recreation came up with a new place to put it.
The original tree was replanted in Portland's Mt. Tabor Park. At 191 acres, Mt. Tabor Park is a popular destination for walkers and bicyclists in Portland. It's located at SE 60th and Salmon Street.