For the 21st year in a row, the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine is bringing together voices of community change for an all-day festival promoting sustainability and social justice.

This year’s Hope Festival promoting “simple solutions to big problems,” is scheduled for April 25 at 11 a.m. in Orono and organizers are promising an event to remember.

“Taking care of our neighbors is a strong ethic in Maine, making our communities more accessible … we’ve led the way and there’s a good strong foundation for progressive and sustainable causes here,” Karen Marysdaughter, office manager for the justice center said.

This year’s speakers include Maria Girouard, a historian, environmental activist and peace advocate; Jim Merkel, who wrote “Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth”; and Robert Sypitkowski, an environmental engineer.

The event will also include a visit from “Betty the Bus,” a blue, biodiesel bus turned into a sustainability lesson on wheels. Inside, visitors will learn about turning vegetable waste into fuel, sustainable living and solar.

Marysdaughter said the festival’s main goal is creating a sense of community and linking people to causes. In previous years between 500 and 1,000 people have attended the event.

“We have all these different issues that people are involved with,” she said.

“All of these are connected and we really want to try to work together to bring about the society we wish we had.”

For more information about this year’s Hope Festival visit, email or call 942-9343.

Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the...