By Stetson Miller

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new park in West Baltimore that honors one of the city’s fallen heroes is now open after years of planning.  

City and state officials, the Concerned Citizens of Boyd-Booth, community members, and family members of fallen firefighter Racheal Wilson dedicated the Racheal Wilson Memorial Park and Playground on Thursday morning at the former site of a vacant rowhome where she died. 

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Wilson was a Baltimore firefighter who lost her life on February 9, 2007, during a live fire training exercise at the rowhome on South Calverton Road in West Baltimore. 

She was the first female firefighter to die in the line of duty in Maryland. Wilson’s family received a $200,000 settlement from the city.

The park is made up of a playground, a giant firefighter helmet and a mural of Wilson.

Community leader Jerlene Boyd, residents and family members worked with the Baltimore Department of Planning and Department of Recreation and Parks to create the park to give children a new space to play and to honor Wilson’s legacy.

“When this young lady died it took everything out of me because she died in a house that was empty and she couldn’t get out of it,” Boyd said. “It took me 15 years to get this off the ground, but it’s off the ground.”

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Wilson’s daughter, Princess Davis, was 7-years-old when her mother died. She told WJZ that she was very glad to see the park open up.

“It is an honor to build her this playground,” she said.

Mayor Brandon Scott was also present to open up the park.

“It was heartbreaking to imagine that something so horrific could happen to someone who was so heroic,” Scott said.

The park is a pilot project of Baltimore’s Green Network, which focuses on turning vacant lots into active and inviting green spaces.

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There are plans to add a swing set, horseshoe pit and new sidewalks to the park, which should be installed in the coming months.

Stetson Miller