See the pot plant that takes up an entire park
No one knows who put it there.
Journalist Dick Fagan, 70 years ago, was gazing down from the old Oregon Journal building at a hole in the median. The hole, meant for a light pole, had been unoccupied for long enough that weeds were beginning to appear in it.
Fagan saw an opportunity and decided to plant some flowers. “I decided it would be much better if there were flowers instead of weeds, and thus Mill Ends Park was born,” he wrote in September 1961, reported the Los Angeles Times 40 years later.
The park was dedicated in 1948. In 1971, Mill Ends was officially named “the world’s smallest park” by the Guinness Book of World Records. It finally became an official Portland city park on St. Patrick’s Day in 1976.
At just 452 square inches, Mill Ends is just two feet wide. Some, in fact, would probably call the park a “planter.” But what do these cynical scoffers know?
It sits unobtrusively in the median on Front Avenue, a busy thoroughfare near the Willamette River. Colorful pansies and a miniature cypress tree typically define the round, concrete-encased area. But, last week, a marijuana plant was spotted growing from the center of it.
An anonymous tipster emailed alt-weekly Portland Mercury about the plant around 10:30 a.m. on 4/20. When staffers went to check it out for themselves around high noon, the plant was still there.
The marijuana plant is just the latest oddity to appear in the “World’s Smallest Park.” Until his death in 1969, Fagan used his column in the Journal to write about it. Donations to the space included a tiny diving board to go with a butterfly swimming pool.
A miniature Ferris wheel and various statues were also added from time to time. Other odds and ends, with an emphasis on the “odds,” would strangely show up. Once a $150 tombstone appeared; it was eventually reclaimed. Then there was a pair of false teeth that showed up. The park has even served as the site of an annual snail race.