Now that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has completed its Better Naito Forever project, Portlanders can enjoy the return of one of Naito Parkway’s most beloved and bizarre attractions—Mill Ends Park, also known as the world’s smallest park.
“In Portland, we’ve long embraced the quirky, creative spirit that drives our city,” Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio stated in a press release. “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.”
As part of Better Naito Forever, Mill Ends Park was relocated 6 inches from its original location and adorned with a new cloverleaf border, a reference to the legend that the park is the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland.
Stories of leprechauns inhabiting the park were spread by journalist Dick Fagan, who created the park by planting flowers in a hole in a median during the 1940s.
Despite its relocation, Mill Ends is still small enough to hold the title of world’s smallest park, a distinction that was confirmed by the Guinness World Records in 1971.
Portland Parks & Recreation plans to hold a rededication ceremony for the park, described as “the world’s smallest ribbon cutting.” There is no word yet on whether or not the leprechauns will be participating in the festivities.