Beneath a bright morning sun, 30 people gathered in a circle on the eastern side of the Sears Island causeway in Searsport this morning for a brief ceremony, followed by a 10-mile "Walk for Mother Earth" to Belfast Common.

Using a bull horn, organizer Meredith Bruskin of Swanville opened the circle ceremony at 8:15 a.m. with introductory remarks honoring the Wabenaki people, "the people of the dawn," as the original, present and future caretakers of the coastal region.

After a brief talk by a second speaker, participants took turns stating their first names and a word that captured their purpose in walking in the pre-Earth Day event. Among their words were "children," "grandchildren," "peace," "coexist" and "climate change."

Bruskin reviewed logistics — the route, mile markers, rest stops, shuttles — and participants (including one bicyclist and three dogs) lined up and headed out at 8:30 a.m. They carried flags and signs, stepping off to the beat of one walker's hand-held drum.

Walkers moved along the causeway, then south on Route 1 to Moose Point and on to the Passagassawakeag River. From there walkers continued across the Belfast footbridge and along the Harbor walk, to Belfast Common.

Co-sponsors include the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County, The First Church in Belfast UCC, The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, Friends of Belfast Parks, Maine Chapter Sierra Club, Veterans for Peace Jim Harney Chapter 003 and the Green Sanctuary Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church Belfast.