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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Missoula Urban Demonstration Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Education, Environment

Mission: To promote urban sustainability through hands-on-learning, resource sharing, and community engagement. Our most significant programs are the missoula tool library, truck share, and the sustainability living workshop series.

Programs: The tool library and truck share served over 560 households this year, with close to 1,400 people borrowing tools for home improvement, lawn and garden care, food preservation, and more. Our library has over 2,500 tools available for our members to borrow.

the mud project educates the greater missoula community by demostrating sustainable urban living methods with the backyard sustainability workshop series, resources library and website, and youth-focused programs to expand our impact on future, urban decision makers.

Community Stories

588 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MUD brings to my community what no other can. The expertise and professionalism which is available through MUD is incomparable to any other.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MUD is the most humble of charities. I'll bet a dollar will go farther with MUD than just about any group you can come up with. We have led the solar installation workshop on site, been a member, done small presentations and donated a truck. Every town should have a group like this to set a great example to youth and allow students to live a sustainable life 24/7. MUD competes for donors with many other eco-minded organizations and has shown itself to be a survivor. That is a testament to MUD's true adherence to sustainability. From worms to tools to compost and manure, MUD gets it right!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We recycled a old house in Missoula. We ended up getting ripped off by the company we hired who claimed to be recyclers. The bank gave us a dead line and we had no money to finish but had joined the people at mud. We needed to sand floors, finish the landscaping, finish plumbing, puddy the windows,put up 2x4 walls,tape walls, paint,build a porch. Then our only vehicle was hit while stopped at a stop light on Broadway. We cryed. Then we took out the list MUD had and started to see what they had. We got the power washer first and washed down the house and couldn't get the washer back because our friend truck wasnt home so we called and they had another couple who needed it and lived near by,So they arrange for them to pick up at our house.
We pick up all sort of power tools to finish the walls 2x4-sheet rock-
mudding and the works and they looked thing up for us on how to do
things like framing, mudding nailing, orange peel. Some times we showed up when they where not open and they helped us anyway.
We also used the truck share to haul 2x4s, cement mixer, sheetrock
and trees people dug up or wanted to get rid of for our yard. We ended up meeting the dead line the bank gave us for our first house
we have ever owned. We thought we were going to lose the house, the houseing market crashed and I lost my job and my husband job was looking like they were going to cut hours for them and we had
used our saving to do this not wanting to rent anymore. They had ever thing we needed and still do.

Lona

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

MUD has helped Missoula become a leader in urban sustainability. It's an important and cherished part of MIssoula's character. Missoula would not be the same without it, and more importantly, the MUD model could be applied to other towns, big and small.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I think MUD provides an invaluable community service. Our family has utilized several services offered by MUD. We have accessed the apple press from the tool library on several occassions to make cider with our apples. My husband has attended several of the workshops offered by MUD as well. I highly recommend this organization to everyone in my community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

MUD! My next door neighbor and hardworking partner in sustainable living for several years. The honest efforts of Missoula Urban Demonstration are a testament to the hard work of non-profits. Through the collective efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers, MUD has grown from a simple city seed company to a vital community resource for cooperative urban living. It is a delight to watch them evolve. I sincerely support their efforts as a Missoulian, neighbor and friend.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

The tool library and its employees and volunteers helped me make improvements on my home I wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford.

Review from Guidestar

Lagan T.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD) is a great benefit to the Missoula community. I have attended two workshops provided by MUD: one taught basics of saving seeds relative to gardening/farming, the other taught basic blacksmithing skills. Both workshops were taught by very knowledgeable and qualified instructors, and were provided to me, a member, at a very affordable fee. I would highly recommend participating in learning experiences offered by MUD, and advocate for supporting the organization with membership or donations. MUD also provides an excellent tool library and affordable pickup truck share program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD is a phenomenal resource for members of Missoula community. All in all, this is a very cool place staffed by great people.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A wonderful place for the Missoula community to utilize. Everything from the tool library to the truck share. MUD creates a beautiful neighborhood with their chickens and gardens. Full of good hearted people Missoula is lucky to have MUD.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD provides valuable clinics on a wide range of interesting topics such as how to raise chickens and composting. They also have a tool check out system that can help many people save money and is a valuable resource for the community.

Review from Guidestar

Kip B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD is a great resource for Missoula residents. If only every town had more MUD in their back yards.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 3

Community, a concept, is hard to define. However in moments of acquiessence or repose may bring warmth and familiarity.

Familiarity amongst neighbors are seeds that draw each and us closer. MUD strives to bring community and family together. Allowing for the resources when idle, we may provide for the betterment of homes sitting side by side, building and sharing our community.

MUD, a gift amongst ou to share.

Review from Guidestar

John B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD is great. It is the kind of experimental non-profit that every quasi-urban area should have. They house one of my friends in their sustainable urban living program, and provide great resources to make urban living even greener.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of MUD for years. I've taken a number of their courses and made regular use of their tool library. I have really enjoyed and learned a lot in their courses and their tool library has been indispensable--what a terrific idea to fill an important community need.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD is wonderful! It's a great source for so many and offers a variety of avenues to get the community involved on a really important issues that affect us all every day. It's an opportunity to meet neighbors, work with vast populations on community wide issues, as well as to learn new skills and resources within people all around you.

It makes the community stronger through its community focus and esteemed presence in the Missoula community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

MUD serves a really important role in the Missoula community through its efforts to promote sustainable lifestyles. My wife and I are both members and we have made extensive use of the tool library for our home garden and yard. We borrowed tools to build 5 raised beds, thus allowing us to grow most of our own vegetables, and again when we converted part of our yard to a low-water use garden, so decreasing our overall water use.

Review from Guidestar

Brandon A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

i love the tool library that MUD has created. they have so many diffrent tools that are available at no to little cost. They always would work with me if i did not return the tools back on time. they also have a truck share that i love and have used many times. it is affordable and a great service.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I support MUD's overall mission for encourage people to live sustainably. I know that the organization does fantastic work.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We regularly use MUD's tool library - what a fantastic resource. Before purchasing tools, you should check it out as they have everything and just using 1 or 2 of the tools can pay for the membership. An additional benefit that pays for the membership is the 10% discount at Home Resource. Membership for us in MUD is a no brainer. We also live on the Northside and regulary attend social events hosted by MUD. It is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people in our neighborhood and the Missoula community at large. The classes are beneficial as well and taught by super knowlegable people. This is an amazing organization.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We moved to Missoula with all of our household goods in storage, so no tools at hand. THank goodness we had the tool library to start remodeling our house and maintain our yard and gardens. Without their help we would have had to buy tools for a one time use (demolition for remodel required sledgehammers, etc. The expertise offered guided us through the process as well.

We have lived in several communities and have not experienced such a unique service. The friendly, helpful staff at the lending tool library and the office connected us with many community resources as well.

Review from Guidestar

Michael D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD should be considered a contender for this award because it is a pioneer in the field of sustainability, with a long history of innovation and outreach, to offer especially appropriate services and education to the community which it nurtures. The truck share and tool library programs are outstanding examples of ideas that allow us all to live more lightly on the planet, and within our means in trying times. The planned renovation and upgrade of the Phillips Street properties will be stellar models of accessible means to reduce our resource demands and provide a setting for a rich life in community.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD provides an important service to the Missoula community. I have been a big user of the tool library which has allowed me to tackle many home improvement projects that would have otherwise been out of my reach.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

MUD was a fantastic place to learn and grow within the Missoula Community. Without MUD I wouldn't have known the power of my own hands and spirit.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been a member of MUD for almost ten years. They have allowed me to fix and improve my house without purchasing any new tools. Additionally, I learned gardening skills that have allowed me to become a better urban farmer. With MUD's tool library and workshops, I have been able to live a more ecologically and socially responsible lifestyle.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

MUD is great!
I've used the truck share program to haul many loads of tree trimmings to EkoCompost.
I just attended a workshop on American Mud and can't wait to try the trowel techniques on my walls.
The tool library is amazingly well- stocked with odd tools designed for a specific job- the shingle shovel was a great time saver on my house roofing project.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

MUD is incredible! They have a large number of tools in the tool library, reasonable rates for membership and rental, friendly & knowledgeable staff and a wide variety of class/programs that serve the community.

They are a great asset to our community!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

M.U.D. has been a great asset to Missoula Community for all the years it has served. The people working in the office were very helpful and patient. Thank you MUD!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center has been proud to share many events and initiatives with MUD over the years we have both been part of Missoula. It's a great resource for empowering local people to take local action and make the world a bit more sustainable.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

M.U.D. has been a valuable part of this community for years now. I have been a class participant, a member, and a grateful tool borrower. The tools in the library helped me to refinish my home's bathroom and have inspired my many gardening projects!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I love the apple press from the tool library. Making apple cider is so much fun with this great press! It is a perfect activity for a beautiful fall day. I only wish it was available more often.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been borrowing from MUD's Tool Library for several years. One of our favorite activities when guests visit is to take them by the Tool Library to get or return tools. Our guests are always amazed at the concept itself (even friends involved in community work elsewhere have not encountered such a practical and useful resource), and then even more amazed when they actually see the Tool Library in action. Thank you MUD!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter, whom I adopted three years ago, had many emotional and behaviorial issues. Amazingly, what has helped her the most has been working with her hands, and gardening. Organizations such as MUD really helped her (and me, too), understand the importance of getting your hands dirty, choosing the proper tools, designing a living space for green things, and then--drumroll please--WAITING to see how it works out. There are always surprises, and MUD teachers are available for coaching. I was born and raised in a city and my garden was a windowbox--my daughter has a larger garden, but a clueless Mom. Together with organizations like MUD, we're planting a better world, and improving ourselves in the process!
THANKS, MUD! "May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."
--Wendy Leibowitz
Washington, D.C.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I wanted to start my home garden, I was overwhelmed by the initial investments needed in everything from shovels to seeds to power tools for my raised beds. Luckily, with a $20 membership in the MUD Tool Library, I was able to borrow nearly everything I needed and was able to grow food sustainably and affordably in my own back yard.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 3

MUD is a great asset to the community of Missoula! Their truck share is a brilliant idea and the tool library is wonderfully organized. It is great to be able to check out a truck or tool when you need it. The workshops I have attended have been a lot of fun. They have great staff and are wonderfully connected to nature.

Review from Guidestar

Jack R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with MUD for more than 11 years. First as a very sporadic volunteer, then a Board member for 4 years, back to a sporadic volunteer, and now as a dedicated Tool Library user. MUD has been many things during its lifespan. It will never be a traditional success nor approach perfection, yet it continues to sustain, adapt, and inspire. Thus it has achieved a paradoxical manner of success and perfection I deeply admire.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member for several years. As an older gardener I really appreciate being able to pick up tools to use rather than buy them. Last year I bought a truck share and was able to pick up llama manure for my garden. Really liked having the truck share. MUD is an invaluable non profit to our community. My one problem is that I don't utilize my membership enough.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The tool library has been an invaluable resource in fixing up our 100+ year old house. Not only does MUD offer a great selection of tools to borrow, they give great how-to advice.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When we purchased our first home MUD was invaluable, not only by loaning us tools, but by providing us with the information and guidance we needed to take on home projects we might have never had the confidence to pursue. Over the years we've also received valuable advice about gardening, food preservation, weatherproofing, and other sustainability measures during our visits to MUD. More than any other local organization, MUD has made us feel part of a strong, forward-looking community.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AMazin organization. If you have the power or means to help please do

Review from Guidestar

Walter H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have spent the last couple years working on my own home constantly using the tool library and the expertise of the individuals who volunteer there. MUD provides a great service to our community. In the last year MUD has greatly improved the organization of the library, the communication with members, and the efficiency of the programs. Keep up the good work.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love, love, love MUD. Tool library and kids' education are wonderful resources. Bringing the tool library to more central location would be a huge benefit to this city.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have worked with MUD as a volunteer in the past. I was very poor and needed bedding plants for my garden. MUD gave me the opportunity to work in exchange for the plants I needed. Way to help community members support healthy lifestyles. The tool library is also and excellent resource for our community.

One of the best things about MUD is its longevity. MUD has been advocating sustainability in Missoula since the 70's as I understand the history. Good job!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

MUD is a great organization that really gets on the ground for sustainability and building social ties among Missoula's citizens. It is the model of what a community-building group should be.

They could really use some more resources, and this award would be a big help.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MUD is a unique and intregal resource for a sustainable Missoula. They offer hands on education and the tools needed to carry out sustainable living practices. They are a highly colaberative organization that is greatly valued in the Missoula Community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been working slowly on remodeling my house in the neighborhood where MUD is located. I've certainly benefitted from being able to go get a crowbar when I need one (who wants to own one of those?), but mostly I've benefitted from the helpful tips and encouragement I get everytime I go to borrow something.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

Love the tool library. It makes so much sense to borrow tools that I rarely need, especially the lawn mower, because I don't have a good place to store one, and I can never keep them in good working order.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered a day to distribute organic fertilizer to the public. It was quite an interesting asssortment of takers filing through in old pick-ups and new Volvo's. Everybody appreciated the product, though shoveling it was tough. The experience was good opportunity to help out the community with a valuable natural product. Manure happens!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

MUD is a great local resource. The organization is an important part of the effort to create a sustainable future for Missoula.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a fellow member of the Missoula Nonprofit Network, we support MUDD and the impressive work that they do locally in our community. They are working to make Missoula a more sustainable place to live including helping other non profit organizations become more sustainable through partnership and training. Good luck MUDD in this contest!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have supported MUD for some years mostly because I believe that a sustainable planet begins with sustainable communities and MUD works for that end. Also, I am a believer in teaching people to grow their own food not only supports and empowers them, it creates a community that is less dependent on systems of handouts. Lastly they do a great job of collaborating with other organizations whose missions are likewise directed at building community, one family at a time.
Wayne Chamberlain, President
Missoula Food Bank
Board of Directors

Review from Guidestar

Alexandra B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MUD is an integral part of the effort to create a sustainable future for Missoula. This organizations hard work and collaboration with the community has greatly increased public awareness regarding issues of the urban environment.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD is a great organization who is always teaching me new was to be a better member of my Missoula Community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

My wife and I have used MUD's cider press in the fall to make some delicious apple cider from apples that would otherwise have gone to waste. We found the staff at MUD helpful and the atmosphere friendly and inviting. I always get new ideas to use around the home from my visits to MUD. MUD is a great resourse for the community.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Was just made aware of this fantastic project. As is the case always, we can do for others once in a while but to have lasting effects, it is best to teach others to do for themselves...

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As someone trying to make it on a lower income in Missoula, MUD has been invaluable. My partner and I started going to MUD to use the tool the library. We checked out drills, bits, saws, sanders... anything we needed while trying to make a lasting place for ourselves in our apartment and thereby in Missoula. Without MUD our walls would be bare, the furniture we found on the cheap or for free would be less functional.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but having access to those tools means real things. We can make ourselves a home; a place we feel comfortable in that we belong to. Going back and forth to MUD we met other people, people with good advice about putting up a hanging mirror or where to go fix your bike. We got to feed the chickens and pull a few choice items from the garden, or just have a place to rest a while and chat with other folks before biking home.

Knowing there's an organization like MUD means there's people in this town looking out for each other, trying to make a common and collected go of it. I've felt more at home, more a part, of Missoula than most places I've lived because of that quality. You see it in MUD, the organization embodies community. It houses it, gives it a center.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD adds meaning to city life in a way no other endeavor does. It helps make Missoula Missoula!

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to use the knowledge I gained from taking the seed starting/gardening classes. Always a comfort to know that the tool library is available when needed.

Review from Guidestar

Cindy O.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am placing myself amongst the clients served category because this organization has tapped the academic community as well. In the past I worked with MUD as a student working on a community project. Our student group was provided an opportunity not only to learn but to complete actual hands-on service. This is invaluable in the concept of community learning, sustainability and the learning realm of social work students!

Client Served

Rating: 4

MUD's tool library has proved to be indispensable for me a home owner with limited income. I have borrowed circular soars and garden tools , all of which have been we maintained by MUD volunteers and staff. I have also been impressed by the range of workshops that offer throughout the year and will sure to take in one about worm bins this year. (Everyone needs a worm bin, you know). In addition , just visiting the MUD site , provides a wealth of ideas of new garden plants , herbs, etc..

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became a member less than 6 months ago, and since then have utilized my membership numerous times. I have used the tool library mostly and it has helped me tremendously. I have small home projects as well as artistic endeavors. Their volunteers are helpful, friendly, and communicable. I received a tour of the property prior to becoming a member, and explained all that they have available. I heard about them through word of mouth, and the they have passed my expectations. I receive e.mails about news and events and enjoy my membership. I hope to become a member next year, and hope to see them continue to grow. If their tool library can continue to be open more hours, and add tools then I can continue to work on personal projects, and save help consumerism and re-use items instead of always buying new. Thanks for being there for me MUD.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

MUD has been a great resource to Missoula. Personally, to know there is a place I can go to share tools and avoid adding to the multiplication of resources is invaluable to me. I have also gained new techniques from how to build a straw bale structure to composting to outdoor pathways by volunteering there and through their many workshops. They also throw some of the best garden parties in town!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Missoula Urban Demonstration Project has grown and evolved over the years. It's always finding new ways to give Missoulians new information and opportunities to live well and live simply.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I've known about MUD for years and always appreciated the niche they've carved out to make Missoula a better place to live. MUD offers tons of information relevant to homeowners and "urban" agriculturalists, but my primary use of their services comes from the tool library. They have everything I need for small home building projects, and they offer great advice on using the tools. Particularly, I like being able to get tools from them that I would only use once or twice a year - or just once. Even if I could afford these tools, my purchase of them would be wasteful. Sharing these tools is a responsible use of resources, encourages community engagement, and reduces the storage space that every home owner seems to need for endless supplies of rarely used tools. Go MUD!

Review from Guidestar