Elizabeth Dry, Executive Director of the Promise of Peace Community Garden, shows us that you don't lead from position, but from vision. A public school educator for almost 30 years, Elizabeth now educates students, community leaders and executives on the power of the garden as a teaching tool. "By cultivating a spirit of ownership in families both poor and affluent, this garden teaches children and adults to cherish the earth and to see those who help tend it as part of their community," says Elizabeth.  Established in 2009, Elizabeth's project has garnered significant media attention as a proactive, hands-on way to improve our environment while fostering community, improving health, supporting local vendors, and preventing crime.  It's sustainable development in a nutshell.


At a recent EcoTuesday Dallas event at Times Ten Cellars, Elizabeth shared inspiration for ecopreneurs and other participants.   Her advice, which stems from her experience in conceiving the idea and subsequently being awarded a funding grant from the City of Dallas, is simple but profound. "Work as hard is you can on your plan," she told us, "but remain flexible enough to step back and let your project take its own course.  I've seen miracles unfold in my garden.  Don't be so controlling that you crowd out the opportunity for magic to happen."  Relationships are flourishing along with their first spring harvest, proving the success of Elizabeth's formula for sustainable development.  As far as I can tell, the secret to Elizabeth's success is, "Let others build it and they will come."  If people support that which they help to create, you expand your influence when you make a place for others to participate in your mission.


Dallas-area residents can support this remarkable community garden project by participating in an unprecedented dining experience on Thursday, May 13 at 6:00 PM.  If "local" is the new organic, then the 100-Mile Dinner is the hottest ticket in town.  Everything on the menu right down to the salt is to be sourced from within a 100-mile radius of Dallas. The stellar lineup of chefs such as such as Graham Dodds of Bolsa and Sheena Croft of Hannah's are preparing a five-course dinner of high-quality eco-cuisine.  The 100 Mile Dinner will run from 6:00 to 10:00 PM at the newly refurbished White Rock Filter Building with a view of beautiful White Rock Lake.  Reggae music by Aton and raffles (prizes include a chance to drive a Smart car for a weekend) will make this event one to remember. 


Tickets are $100 apiece and can be purchased at Times Ten Cellars and Downing Hill.  Proceeds go toward the Promise of Peace mission to decrease the dropout rate at Woodrow Wilson High School as well as to reduce the teenage pregnancy rate and gang involvement in East Dallas.  Funds raised will help pay for POP summer camps for kids, where they'll learn photography, healthy lifestyles, art, and take a field trip to a local farm.  For more details visit www.promiseofpeace.us or email Elizabeth directly at ejdry54@yahoo.com.