World’s smallest park record challenged as Burntwood landmark bids to win title

Apr 8, 2013 by Ross

Princes Park in Burntwood

Princes Park in Burntwood

A Burntwood park could be named the smallest in the world after a challenge was made to the current record holder.

Guinness World Records currently puts the title with Mill Ends Park in the United States – but now organisers of the world’s shortest fun run at Princes Park are aiming to claim the crown for the UK.

Kevin Wilson from KP events is behind the challenge and believes the UK’s smallest park deserves its place in the record books.

“According to www.dictionary.com, 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 Portland, USA

Mill Ends Park in Portland, USA. Pic: KGW.com

“Mill Ends Park in no way can be classed as a park, it’s a glorified flower pot!

“Princes Park has a fence around it, a bench and three trees and is by any definition a park. We’ll be challenging Mill Ends Park’s status officially and hope to reinstate Princes Park as the world’s smallest park.”

Mill Ends Park has had a colourful existence since its original creation in the 1940s.

It took the world’s smallest park crown in 2007 after being reinstated following roadworks.

However, the park’s only tree had to be replaced recently after it was stolen.

KP Events are organising the world’s shortest fun run around the Burntwood landmark on May 6 to raise funds for the We Love Lichfield Fund.

For more information about the world’s shortest fun run and to register, visit www.kpevents.net.

Advertise here and reach 10,000 visitors every month!

  1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Robbie

    Good on you Kevin! If thats a park then my window box should take the title!!!!

  2. +20 Vote -1 Vote +1Vicki

    Yes, but our park has leprechauns. Does yours? :) From a resident of Portland.

  3. If that’s the challenge then there’s no contest. As long as the tree trunks in Princes Park are kept clear you can get in and picnic on the grass or sit on the bench or lean (carefully) on the fence.
    Now that is a park!

  4. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Yeah

    This effort is being pushed forth by someone who works for an event organizer, who happens to do a “fun run” at this very park.

    To me, this seems like a cheap publicity stunt. For shame.

  5. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Lich_Ranger

    But where are the teenagers hanging around, drinking White Lightning and wreaking havoc? Without that, none of the above can be considered a park! :-)

  6. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Robbie

    @Yeah – oh get over it this is just a bit of fun

  7. Come on Burntwood! This is more of a park than that plant pot on a island in Portland! We’ve got a bench!! Seriously, good luck with everything. Wonderful to read some positive news.

  8. Don’t we all feel better with a little laugh over this. Our National Parks in the U.S. are in jeopardy so let’s culture and care for every green space we can including Robbie’s windowbox or any windowbox in England and the U.S.

  9. Penny, this is VERY serious, this is a world record. I wish you all the luck in the world with it. Regardless of who’s organised it. I it is dear to someone that whats it matter why they’ve shown an interest. Fact is that they have when no one else has.

  10. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Jeremy Myers

    British arrogance again!

  11. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Lincoln

    Hello Lichfield. My name is Lincoln Graves. I’m a reporter for a TV station in Portland, Oregon, USA. I’m working on a story about the park showdown between Burntwood and Portland. I want to do a Skype interview with Councillor Norman. Can anyone get me in touch with him? My email is Lgraves@katu.com

    Thanks,
    Lincoln

  12. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Todd

    Mill Ends Park is NOT a “glorified flower pot”! It’s a glorified site for a light pole that never showed up, thank you very much. But it is owned by the city of Portland, and it’s clearly in a natural state — it’s got plants, hasn’t it? Anyhow, I don’t see how Princes Park is a proper park — it’s all surrounded by traffic!

  13. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Rebecca M Davis

    With all Due Respect to our cousins in the UK, I must say- our tiny flower-pot sized park is MUCH smaller. In fact, the Smallest in the World. Our leprechauns can easily picnic in it.
    So there.

    (Also- off topic-NICE JOB on the Olympics last summer! I was truly moved.)

    Best regards,

    RM Davis

  14. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Scott

    Mill Ends Park has a long history here in Portland, and while it’s inconveniently small for picnics it does get visitors and it is maintained as an official city park. I believe the second smallest park in Oregon is Waldo Park in Salem (about an hour south of Portland), which holds a single giant sequoia and some lesser plants; its listed dimensions are 3.7 meters by 6.1 meters.

  15. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Sara Long

    http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=265&action=ViewPark

    Mill Ends Park is a real park, with a real history, and real (HUGE) civic support.

  16. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Erik H.

    Mill Ends Park is officially a park, dedicated by Portland’s mayor on St. Patrick’s Day 1948, and at 451 sq. inches one can clearly see simply by looking at your photo here that it is smaller than your Burntwood landmark by at least an order of magnitude!

    It is officially maintained by the City of Portland’s Parks and Recreation, so it is therefore an actual park, per your definition: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=265&action=ViewPark

    You may, however, claim the title of “Smallest Park in Europe”.

  17. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Sarah Moon

    Occupy Portland has even occupied Lands End Park. It is a park :)

  18. A street planter can not be a park. To be a park you have to be able to park yourself in it. You can’t even step in that that alone sit in it.

  19. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Kathleen

    just add a tiny bench and a tiny toilet there ya have it

  20. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Cllr Susan Woodward

    Great that Burntwood’s residents are rallying round on this! Sorry, Portland: a plant pot doesn’t count as a park. Take a look at ours. It IS a park and we’re proud of it!

    BTW, Steve Norman is my husband. We’re both local councillors and you can contact him via the Lichfield District Council website contact info – or I can just give him a shout as he’s sitting in his office.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1Some Bloke

    I am going to go to our park in Burntwood tomorrow for a stroll and a pic nic, and to enjoy the amenity. I will send Lichfield Live photos. I suggest our Cousins over the Pond do the same with their “park”. If they can…..

  22. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Oberholtzer

    Mill Ends Park may have humble beginnings as a unused lamp post hole – but it is a park that my parents took me to as a kid to see the leprechans,as it is the only leprechan sanctuary outside of Ireland, thank you very much and has been so since 1948.

    Good luck with your event, I hope it’s a huge success. Even if Princess Park is only the 2nd smallest park in the world.

  23. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Todd

    To those of you complaining that our Portland park is too small: I believe you have conceded the point. Thank you.

    Personally, I have no trouble fitting inside Mill Ends Park (but then, like most Americans, I am svelte). After all, it is two feet in diameter — which, in the metric system is something like 20 hectares, I believe?

  24. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Foxy

    We have pot plants in Lichfield that are maintained by the people who maintain the parks.
    That is not how a park is defined.
    We have loads of things we could register as a park but it would be silly.

    Bad luck Portland.

  25. Yeh man, the council workers look after our pot plants, then they pick the leaves, dry them…

  26. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1PRW

    Even if Mills End park doesn’t count, your park looks from its picture to be a bit bigger than another Oregon park, Waldo Park in Salem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldo_Park

  27. From the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Ends_Park on Mill Ends Park:

    “The small circle has featured many unusual items through the decades, including a swimming pool for butterflies—complete with diving board, a horseshoe, a fragment of the Journal building, and a miniature Ferris wheel which was delivered by a full size crane… The park continues to be the site of St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The events held here include concerts by Clan Macleay Pipe Band, picnics, and rose plantings by the Junior Rose Festival Court.”

    I hope to visit England soon myself and look forward to visiting another great park!

  28. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Demanet

    How come I am finding you out in America while I am in Belgium !!! ????

  29. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Ervin

    It doesn’t matter if Mill Ends is a park or not. There’s no way Princes Park is the smallest. It’s huge! Here’s a park in Boston that’s much smaller. http://centersandsquares.com/2009/07/03/cambridge-parks-the-park-as-art-cambridges-smallest-park/

  30. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Oberholtzer

    Now don’t you start, Boston, we’ve got enough trouble already! :)

  31. Vote -1 Vote +1Doopster

    Seems Boston is actually the winner to me.

  32. A park has trees !

  33. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Ervin

    Ha. I’m not actually from Boston. I’m from Portland. I just thought I’d cancel out the conflict by throwing Boston under the bus. Now to the subject of a park having trees…I’m quite sure I could find a lot of parks without trees. Let’s not be so discriminatory against other foliage.

  34. Well what a stir!! when we put worlds shortest fun run idea together,never dreamt things would develop like this. Guys, Portland’s getting twitchy, keep the pressure on them,Mill Ends Park isn’t,find a definition of park that suits, there ain’t one!!

  35. David Beckham’s tweeted 2Princes Park is definitely a park, Mill Ends Park ain’t” NICE ONE BECKS

  36. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff Lesh

    I am one of the few people in the world to have been to both Prince’s Park and Mill Ends Park. I can say from personal experience that they are both fine parks and are maintained in a common tradition of “Gold Medal” stewardship. Mill Ends Park’s size in no way should be held against it and deserves your respect admiration for it’s achievements during it long history.

  37. Vote -1 Vote +1Scott Moore

    “Don’t Tread on Us”

    “It has a small size but a huge history and legacy in our city,” he [Portland Parks Director Mike Abbaté] wrote. “Mill Ends is revered by thousands, and has been for years. … Mill Ends is weeded, watered, planted and maintained like every other park in our National Gold Medal-winning system.” 

  38. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Princes Park

    Oh Portland. *shakes head*

  39. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jessica

    Never go up against Portland when the ridiculous is on the line!

    (apologies to the Princess Bride)

  40. Vote -1 Vote +1poorpdx

    As it’s not just a park issue you know it’s about kindness and comradery, and kicking people out of a most loved park, like the leprechauns. The media can quote that. Taking on the left coast that stands for many of these kinds of things anyone knows is a bad idea. Brits can appreciate leprechauns, and this is just the kind of thing Brits would get up in a fuss about. Brits would know
    they’d stick up for their sweetest leprechaun park. You guys don’t want to do that and be meanies about that sweet little park with that well whole history, thats been there forever. They all need to let the little leprahaun park go
    thats right in the middle of town, the poor little sweet Portland historical park. Brits know if it was their small pole park that Brits would be defending it if it was theirs.You don’t want to be meanies that are known for beating up the sweet city historical park that got their fist.

  41. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1poorpdx

    It was the sun, Brits and you guys know what the leprechauns would say about that they’d be making their jokes, they wouldnt either like it.

  42. The Queen just phoned me and said: “Hey-up Bob, tell your friends in Portland that a park aint really a park if me Corgi’s can’t take a dump in it don’t you know” There you have it! Finally some common sense in the debate!

  43. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jamin

    So your argument that your park is the smallest is that its bigger than ours??? OK, you win!

  44. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Labmonster

    64 years ago a dream was formed and it lives on today. The park, founded in 1948, is of the most importance. It is the park of our imagination. The spark, of a reporter who made it human to us all.

    It holds memories of a person who believed it could be, in essence what we all want to be. Our fullest potential. One small step of greatness. A lone tree, on a small piece of ground, is declared a park.

    It holds events every time it is shared with a tourist, every time someone leaves a new setting for it. I have seen camping tents, Horses have pranced around it small area, Charlie Brow visited at Christmas time and it was lovely. It got a nice write up in the Oregonian as well. Patrick O’Toole (head leprechaun) watches the life of Portland’s ever changing community and knows that he was founded, kept safe, and will live on in our imagination because someone said “It is so”.

    PS: The definition of a park is: A large public green area in a town, used for recreation. Patrick finds it large enough to hold several parties a year for his friends. The largest of course is on St Patrick’s Day. You are all invited next year for the festivities. Please bring your own party favors. And be respectful of how small we truly are.

  45. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Duncan Koller

    Well, it’s our park and if we say it’s a park….then it must be a park. Besides – our leprechauns live there.

  46. It seems to me that rather than trying to displace Mill Ends leprechaun colony with a claim of “smallest” for Princes Park, it would be much more in Britain’s favor to claim that it is parked on one of the world’s smallest islands. Maybe Guinness would go for that.

  47. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1frd lang

    point of order – an adult leprechaun is around 2′ tall. surely a colony would get very uncomfortably crowded (and they’re notoriously grumpy) at Mill Ends? Not sure these other ‘colonists’ can be trusted to be telling us the truth here.

  48. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Brian Asbury

    I’ve long wondered about the sanity of Americans and some of the remarks on here make me wonder anew. That flowerpot is not a park. Live with it. It’s also made of concrete. Not a ‘natural state’ by any definition. Furthermore, leprechauns do not exist, and ‘things of the imagination’ do not qualify for record books. Wake up and smell the Klingon coffee. That doesn’t exist either, despite what some of your fellow Americans would tell you…

    (Incidentally, if you’re going to insist on ‘things of the imagination’ being real on some level, then I’ve just imagined an entire world on my desktop. Over a million of the micropeople who inhabit it hold an annual festival in that world’s biggest park, which nonetheless is less than a micron across and thus qualifies as our world’s smallest. So please imagine me blowing the world’s largest raspberry. Thank you.

  49. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Vicki B.

    Ah, but the tree growing in the park (rooted in dirt, not concrete, may I point out) is, in fact, not imaginary, Brian. It is a living, breathing Douglas-fir, cultivated by that wonderful Scotsman David Douglas! Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Douglas.

    Enjoy your day! :)