Promise Peace Garden Hosts Okra Palooza to Raise Funds For New Garden

Recently Brittany Nunn with the Lakewood Advocate covered the proposed new Promise of Peace garden in a three part series (one, two and three). The garden is set to take over some space in a parking lot at the White Rock United Methodist Church (WRUMC) in the Little Forest Hills neighborhood.

And, oh, what a kerfuffle has ensued.

Turns out that some neighbors of the church dislike the idea of replacing a parking lot with a garden. Yes. The want to keep their quiet inner-city parking lot and are ready to fight the good fight for it.

Elizabeth Dry established the original Promise of Peace community garden at 7446 East Grand Ave., but because of rising rent in the area, is moving to the church, which is leasing the space (in the parking lot) for next to nothing.

After the article originally ran in the Lakewood Advocate, some neighbors around the church got irate about the issue. They fear hoopla, rats, live music, fundraisers, and for some, the presence of children, will disrupt the quiet tranquility they enjoyed with just the parking lot.

Regardless, Dry, the renegade peace gardener, is holding steady, "We are moving forward in the spirit of love -- it's that simple," Dry says.

In addition to growing things in a parking lot, the nonprofit garden will offer classes to local students and promote the concept of "Plant it Forward" by creating "community urban gardens across Dallas while bringing neighborhoods together and enriching lives."

If you'd like to help with the Promise of Peace Garden, on June 30 there will be a fundraiser, Okra Palooza, at The LOT restaurant at 7530 East Grand Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chefs Chad Houser of Café Momentum, Graham Dodds of Central 214 and Janice Provost of Parigi will serve up their best okra recipes for a friendly cook-off.

Home cooks can also join the competition in a separate division from the chefs. Guests will be able to sample the okra dishes and vote for a winner.

The tickets cost $30 per person and includes more okra samples than you can shake stick at, live music from Russ Hewitt and two beers.

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