Photo: The FMWF Chamber
On May 9, Kristen Lotvedt graduated from the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (LFMWF) program hosted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (FMWF) Chamber
. The 10-month program is made up of 40 up-and-coming community leaders and exposes participants to issues that face our region while challenging and engaging them to strengthen the community through service and leadership. The program features a variety of events, including a ropes course challenge to kick off the program and a Community Change Initiative (CCI) group project.
Kristen shows a thumbs up before taking on the ropes course (left) and accepting her plaque at the program's graduation ceremony (right).
These CCIs allow the students to apply their skills and insights gained through the program to create an initiative they can bring to fruition that positively impacts the community. Kristen’s group developed the “Plant a Tree for You and Me” program.
The idea for this project was sparked from seeing a common theme where families typically spend their daily lives going to and from work without much interaction with their neighbors. The group wanted to create an event that would bring a neighborhood together as well as help the ever-growing need for additional trees to enhance community green spaces.
“Through talking with the various city and park organizations we found an area of south Fargo that had made several repeated requests for additional trees in their park,” states Lotvedt. “We worked with the neighborhood and Fargo Parks Department to find a day and time that would work for most people to create this event.”
The group held the event for the Woodhaven neighborhood on May 11 where 40 participants planted 30 trees with the Fargo Park District at Woodhaven North Park. The Fargo Park District donated the trees and their time to host educational tree care sessions. In addition, attendees enjoyed music, snacks, giveaways, and family games for neighbors to socialize with each other. The group hopes to make this an annual spring event rotating amongst different neighborhoods in need of trees.
Photo: The FMWF Chamber
Q&A with Kristen
What did you learn from this experience?
Everyone defines leadership a different way. It’s not how they define it but how they act that makes the difference.
What did you enjoy most during this program?
I enjoyed getting to know the 39 other people that I was on the journey with. I think we all came out the other end better leaders in our field.
What was something you didn’t know before the LFMWF program that you know now?
I never fully understood how many great opportunities there are in our community to volunteer and give back.
Would you recommend the LFMWF program to others? Why?
Absolutely! The leadership program is a great way to find out what other leaders are doing in the community and network.