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Small Park Tree GONE!

By Beetle Bailey Jr. | The Rose Cityian/Rose City Live

The only tree in Rose City’s smallest park is gone.

A tiny stump and a patch of dirt are all that remained Friday morning at Mill Ends Park in downtown Rose City. City park officials said they have no idea who cut the lone tree in the park, a concrete planter measuring two feet in diameter.

“It’s just not a nice thing to do,” said Mark Ross, a Rose City Parks and Recreation spokesperson. “It’s not the end of the world. We’ll all continue to enjoy the park and the whimsical nature of it, but when something like this happens it makes you think, ‘Why would someone do that?’”

Parks bureau officials don’t plan to file a police report, he said.

The park sits on a median along Southwest Naito Parkway and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest park. It became a city park in the 1970s, but the space was established in the 1940s by journalist Dick Fagan.

Ross said the park has its own watering and maintenance schedule, which including rotating in new saplings every few months. He said parks bureau staff plan to assess the damage Friday morning and determining a new tree suitable for planting in the park.

It’ll cost around $5 to replace the sapling and the parks bureau has received at least one offer from someone willing to donate a small tree, Ross said.

A small pine tree planted at Mill Ends Park was stolen in 2013. A Douglas Fir sapling was planted in its place, but the stolen tree turned up sometime later lying next to its replacement.