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

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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