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‘ Community rallies to build park, honor slain mother

<i></i><br/>Hundreds of volunteers showed up on Wednesday to help build the Candace Pickens Memorial Park in Asheville
Lawrence, Nakia

Hundreds of volunteers showed up on Wednesday to help build the Candace Pickens Memorial Park in Asheville

By Meghan Danahey

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Hundreds of volunteers showed up on Wednesday, Oct. 4, to help rebuild the former Jones Park Playground.

The new park will be named Candace Pickens Memorial Park in honor of a 22-year-old mother killed there in May 2016.

Fences are up around the construction zone near Ira B. Jones Elementary School and day one of the blitz build began at 7:30 in the morning.

For Brooke Heaton and 12 other core community members, this has been a two-year effort that began with seeking city approval, then turned to finding donors to fund the project. While hundreds showed up on Wednesday, they still need volunteers to help complete the new playground by Sunday, Oct. 8.

Heaton said he used to bring his two-year-old to the playground and he is in awe of community support for the rebuild.

“We’ve got literally a thousand folks volunteering here throughout the week to build this park,” he told News 13. “It’s going to be something that lasts for generations. We’re going to have kids playing in this park for 30 years or more. On Sunday we’re going to have a finished park, kids are going to be playing here. It’s going to be awesome!”

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