WORK STARTS: Ashley Okland Playground Project

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Construction crews have begun working on a playground being installed in honor of a West Des Moines realtor who was shot to death during an open house in 2011.

The Ashley Okland Star Playground is going up at Ewing Park in Des Moines. A groundbreaking ceremony for the playground was held Monday.

Okland was murdered three years ago and police still haven’t found her killer.

Okland was a volunteer with Variety the Children’s Charity, which is organizing the project.

“We thought it might not get off the ground. It`s pretty incredible to know that it is and this project will be a legacy in Ashley`s name,” says Susan Hatten, with Variety.

ashley oklandThe group raised more than its original goal of half a million dollars. Variety hopes to put the additional funding toward an accompanying shelter. The proposal will be presented to the Des Moines city council Monday night.