Concordia Initiative Receives Award from the City of Moorhead

From left: Mayor Shelly Carlson, Dr. Ken Foster, Dr. Tim Hiller, Crystal Rayamajhi (City of Moorhead Sustainability Coordinator), President William Craft

Concordia-founded Resilient Moorhead was awarded the MoorHeart award by the Moorhead City Council and Mayor Shelly Carlson.

The MoorHeart award recognizes individuals “who go above and beyond to demonstrate community” within the city by their actions and service. The award was presented “for all Resilient Moorhead does for Moorhead — and especially for the way the group has emphasized strong collaboration tactics for common areas of concern. … Resilient Moorhead is a great example of the MoorHeart spirit.”

Resilient Moorhead is a diverse network of 21 stakeholders. It arose out of the Moorhead Community Resilience Task Force, formed in 2019 at the initiative of Concordia College and through the efforts of Dr. Kenneth Foster, chair/professor of political science and chair of the President’s Sustainability Council, and Dr. Tim Hiller, who at that time was director for Community Engagement at Concordia. The work of Resilient Moorhead is funded by a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant administered by Concordia. 

“All of us who are involved with Resilient Moorhead are very excited about how this award affirms our focus on collaborative work to help Moorhead be more resilient to challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and economic uncertainty,” Foster said.

Foster added that Concordia’s leadership in the Resilient Moorhead venture shows the college’s commitment to working for the good of the broader community. 

The group has supported several projects including the MB Johnson Edible Forest Project, Moorhead’s Comprehensive Planning process, and a Moorhead Community Gardening Initiative, to name a few. 


Gabrielle Lommel ’20, sustainability coordinator at Concordia, was the project coordinator for some of the smaller projects funded by Resilient Moorhead. She said building community resilience is a key part of climate action.

“I’m glad to have played a part in various projects they have funded,” Lommel added.

This year, Resilient Moorhead has supported a process to encourage social equity with a focus on civic engagement and inclusive decision-making. It is also promoting ecological health by planting pollinator-friendly urban prairies and “pocket prairies.” 

“It’s been a great privilege to work with all of the great people and organizations that have helped make Resilient Moorhead a success,” Foster said. “I’ve learned just how special and wonderful this community of Moorhead is. I’m grateful for the enthusiastic support of Tim Hiller, President Craft, and leaders of the City of Moorhead.”