East Dallas' Promise of Peace Garden is Moving, and its New Neighbors Aren't Happy

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It doesn't look so cute when it's spray-painted on your back fence.
The Promise of Peace Community Garden is in an awful location, shoehorned into a formerly vacant lot in a row of apartments and liquor stores just south of White Rock Lake, reachable only by a narrow sidewalk running along busy Grand Avenue. Nevertheless, the spot has served the garden's needs ever since it was established three years ago by school teacher Elizabeth Dry, who hoped that teaching the kids of East Dallas to grow their own food might help inspire a healthier future.

The location problem will soon be solved. As the Advocate reported earlier this month, Promise of Peace is in the process of relocating to a stretch of asphalt next to White Rock United Methodist Church. It's quieter there, away from the Grand Avenue traffic, and better suited for a community garden.

There's only one problem: Some of the neighbors aren't so happy.

"We're inundated with traffic here, people who filter into this community, all week long with the churches," neighbor Roxanne King told the Advocate, which is in the midst of a two-part series on Promise of Peace. "And the idea of having something two doors away from me, that would have music and fundraisers and children's camps and just more things that are going to attract more people commuting to this community and needing a place to park, was too much for me to bear. It was honestly like, 'That's it, I can't take it any more.'"

So, she sold her house. Other neighbors haven't gone quite that far, not yet at least, but a surprising number have expressed opposition. The back-and-forth in the comments to this Advocate post is worth a read, if only to clear up that the garden's new location has nothing to do with interdenominational politics.

"As one of the minister's at WRUMC, I can tell you that the location of the proposed garden has nothing to do with trying to 'keep the Catholics from parking there,'" Michael Mitchell Boone writes. Rather, in a conversation with a neighbor, I simply stated that the location of the garden was chosen because it was the part of our property that has become least utilized by our members."

In other words, Methodists and Catholics, they get along just fine.

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19 comments
casiepierce
casiepierce

If people have to DRIVE to get there, it is NOT a "community garden"...

Travis_Rex
Travis_Rex

Elizabeth Dry does a fantastic job with the PoP Garden and all of the kids she teaches.  All the times I have gone to PoP events lead me to believe that the homeowners who object are overreacting.  The music is never loud, the people are always respectful, interested in building community and very friendly.  Aren't those the kind of people one wants in their neighborhood?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

A GARDEN!?!  With CHILDREN running around?!?  My god, who WOULD want that in their neighborhood?

Except, you know, a sane, well adjusted person.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Her new place is in Oaklawn under the flight path.

drtz
drtz

Tell the NIMBY's to move to McKinney.  There are plenty of Dallas residents who would love to live two doors from a community garden.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

It's on EAST Grand dipsh!t. Grand is a different street.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@drtz Seriously? If you would LOVE to live "two doors" from a community garden, then what's stopping you from creating one??? Geez! Guess what? People GET to be NIMBY's when we're talking about a COMMUNITY garden! Either the community wants it or it doesn't. Logic much?

gregmarcydagama
gregmarcydagama

@Los_Politico Nice social manners! I am sure they will be thrilled to read your vulgarities. You are so cute! :) ~ / ~ OM

mcdallas
mcdallas

@casiepierce @drtz PLEASE use more ALL CAPS!  and PUNCTUATION!!! to make your point.  Be SERIOUS! and A N G R Y!!!

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Travis_Rex @casiepierce I don't doubt that Promise of Peace does great work. But in order for it to be called a "community" anything it has to both *involve* and *serve* the community. I do not fault people for complaining when interlopers come into a neighborhood to do all sorts of "community" stuff, while cluttering up the area with increased traffic and additional cars and strange people. You are missing the point. The question is not whether or not PoP is wonderful, but whether actual community members of the actual neighborhood want it and involve themselves in it. From this story, it doesn't seem like it. So, you know, go do a garden in another community where it's wanted, needed and will be served by the community.

Travis_Rex
Travis_Rex

@casiepierce @Travis_Rex  Absolutely not..the PoP garden has always drawn people, not just from the immediate area in which it is located.  When I first started working with Elizabeth Dry it was for a mural at the elementary school she teaches at.  I had no direct connection to her, the students, or the immediate community that surrounds the school.  After a month working on that mural and the kids, I felt involved in their community, with Elizabeth and the PoP garden.  Since then, every time I visit there are new people with new ideas and some old friends to boot.  This, IMO, is the essence of a community that isn't bound by streets or a neighborhood. 

gregmarcydagama
gregmarcydagama

@casiepierce @gregmarcydagama @everlastingphelps For a forum like this it is probably out of context. I am an artist and digital iconography is to me a new form of penmanship . . .  ~ / ~ is my artist mark; a paraph, if you will, similar to say John Hancock's mark under his signature; it signifies a seeing, acknowledging face. The OM is a bit of a pun. Optimus Maximus is my literary alter ego in my books as well as a play on 'Om' the Zen meditation. Thanks for asking. I think I'll ditch it on this forum, though. ;) ~ / ~ OM

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