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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

The huge pull of the world's tiniest park

Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, measures just 60.96cm in diameter

Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, is listed as the world's smallest park by Guinness World Records. Courtesy Travel Portland
Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, is listed as the world's smallest park by Guinness World Records. Courtesy Travel Portland

"From his office on the second floor of the old Oregon Journal building, journalist Dick Fagen (1911-1969) periodically gazed down on the busy Front Avenue throughfare. It was his keen imagination that turned a utility pole hole, in the avenue's median strip at Taylor Street, into Mill Ends Park."

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So goes the history of the world's smallest park, which was designated as a city park in 1948 and entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1971 and became an official park of the City of Portland in 1976. It now attracts thousands of tourists a year.

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Today the circular "park" sits in the middle of a dual carriageway on Portland's downtown waterfront, but it tended lovingly by locals, who have, over the years, installed a swimming pool for butterflies, complete with diving board, a mini Ferris wheel and a tiny leprechaun. While to some it may be just a glorified flower pot, thousands of tourists visit the site every year, in keeping with the city's unofficial slogan "Keep Portland Weird."

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