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Visit the world’s smallest park’s new location in Portland – six inches west from old location

The world's smallest park is back on Southwest Naito, but in a new location: half a foot west.
Credit: Portland Bureau of Transportation

PORTLAND, Ore. — The world’s smallest park, Mill Ends Park, was taken down during the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Better Naito Forever project.

Not to worry, though: the park was put back up with a brand new redesign a whopping six inches to the west of its original location. It now has a lovely cloverleaf park border because, according to PBOT, there is a legend that leprechauns live in the park (KGW cannot independently verify these claims). It also has a new official park sign.

Portland Parks & Recreation will hold a small rededication ceremony (pun definitely intended) and the world’s smallest ribbon cutting for Mill Ends Park sometime in the near future.

“In Portland, we’ve long embraced the quirky, creative spirit that drives our city,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “Mill Ends Park embodies that spirit. Bike and pedestrian safety improvements in the Better Naito Forever project will now allow more Portlanders to safely visit this iconic park and the leprechauns living there.”

There is a new two-way bikeway and sidewalk built near the park that you can use while you’re on your way to visit Mill Ends. There is still work to be done on the project. This spring, PBOT will install additional planters along Naito Parkway, permanent striping and plant trees along the corridor.

RELATED: Tree replaced at world's smallest park after vandal cut it down

Mill Ends Park is located in the median strip of SE Naito Parkway in downtown Portland. It’s about 425 square inches large or 0.00007205784 acres, according to PBOT. It has been the smallest park in the world since it was awarded the designation in 1971. It became an official city park in 1976.

“Our park maintenance staff have identified the best vegetation to thrive in Mill Ends Park,” said PP&R Director Adena Long. “And thankfully, the new plantings are expected to offer an even better habitat for the leprechaun family rumored to live in the park.”

Portland Parks & Recreations repair and maintenance crews made the new sign out of recycled materials and though it’s much smaller than other signs, it's identical in all other ways.

“Our park maintenance staff have identified the best vegetation to thrive in Mill Ends Park,” said PP&R Director Adena Long. “And thankfully, the new plantings are expected to offer an even better habitat for the leprechaun family rumored to live in the park.”

So what’s the deal with the leprechauns? The idea of the residence in Mill Ends Park honors the person who created the park in 1946, Dick Fagen. Fagen worked as a journalist with the Oregon Journal and his office overlooked the street that is now Naito Parkway.

RELATED: Portland's tiny Mill Ends Park now has its own tiny sign

There was a hole where a light pole used to be and he took it upon himself to plant flowers there. Fagan wrote a column called “Mill Ends” and he covered the “events” at the park, calling it the World’s Smallest Park. Fagan continued to write about the happenings at the park until he died in 1969.

The park was moved for construction in 2006, then moved back to its home on March 16, 2007, in style with the Fagan family, including Dick Fagan’s wife, the Royal Rosarians and bagpipers who attended the ceremony.

It has been a well-respected park since Fagan’s death. Many contributions have been made to the park in the form of small decorations fit for the pocket-sized destination, like a pool, Ferris wheel, statues and even a couple of flying saucers.