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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: Provide a model of urban sustainable living through education, demonstration, and celebration in the missoula community. Our most significant programs are the missoula tool library, truck share, and sustainability living workshop series and its related residency project.

Programs: Tool lending library served over 400 households this year, with close to 700 people borrowing tools for home improvement, lawn and garden care, food preservation, and more. Our library has over 2,000 tools available for our members to borrow.

educating the greater missoula community through demonstrating sustainable urban living methods with the backyard sustainability workshop series, resources library and website, and youth focused programs to expand our impact in future, urban decision makers.

residency program allows our residents to live in our community as part of aplanned living environment. M. U. D. Residents care for the community gardens, help run other programs, and contribute time as volunteers leading tours of demonstration projects on our sites. In exchange, m. U. D. Residents receive low rents for their efforts. This program allows city residents to explore using sustainable living techniques so they can live with less impact throughout their lives, especially when they move on in the future.

truck share program reduces large vehicle trips on our community by allowing our members to borrow a truck for large hauling tasks, like moving, gardening, waste removal, and other projects. M. U. D. Members can then purchase smaller vehicles, or use sustainable transportation methods for everyday use, and reserve the trucks for a few times a year they need a larger vehicle.

Community Stories

101 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coffee to Compost, Tool Library, Truck Share, Mud Mingles, Cider Pressings, ... just a few examples which leap to mind when considering the community-building and strengthening activities this fine organization has engaged in within my limited interaction with them. Part of what makes the North Side such a fine neighborhood. I've had lots of great conversations over the years with other MUD supporters about sustainability and many of those have directly resulted in improving and preserving our sweet Missoula lifestyle.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome place. I have borrowed tools from here. Good people, good cause!
~Nathan

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mud is a great organization that promotes sustainable living in Missoula. The people working and volunteering through MUD to make Missoula a better place are top notch! I encourage anyone who hasn't joined to join MUD or volunteer. I hope that other cities are doing the same and combining their collective resources to live more sustainable lifestyles.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer, and served as a board member for three years, at MUD through the 90s. MUD serves as a focal point for innovation in urban sustainable living and an incubator for demonstration projects. MUD initiated the first community garden project in Missoula, which has grown into many similar gardens throughout the city. A small scale effort to reuse lumber that had been cast into alleys (stored in a small lean-to on the southwest corner of MUD) evolved, via a MUD powerhouse, into Home ReSource, a building material reuse center in Missoula. The Tool Library is an innovation from MUD which provides tools for self-reliant homeowners and business persons. MUD reintroduces many agrarian and conservation skills, which are at risk of vanishing, through varied workshops. The site itself serves as an excellent demonstration site of on-going experiments in sustainable living. MUD's strength and niche is as an organization which has supported experimentation and innovation in self reliance, conservation and community building.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer for MUD in the horticultural therapy program. We worked with people who have cognitive and physical disabilities. each week we grew, cooked and ate fresh vegetables, sending the extras home with each of the participants. We also built wheelchair-accessible garden beds at a group home. MUD is the coolest nonprofit in Missoula, and Missoula is a pretty cool place.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer gardener at MUD my freshman year in college. Working in the garden, planting seeds, tending the plants and watching them grow, was one of the best experiences I had in school. I think every student should work at MUD or a similar organization, to get back in touch with our food, and see how much work goes into each thing we eat, and to understand the benefits of growing and eating your own food. I think it would be great if MUD was more well known on campus, so that more students could visit and participate in the amazing process of getting connected with food, instead of shopping at a grocery store, not understanding any of the ingredients, and filling their bodies with unhealthy substances.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD makes many projects and ideas possible for everyone in Missoula. Their tool library is an invaluable resource for the entire community. Why buy a whole set of tools for one project? These tools make many useful projects possible across Missoula from building chicken coops to fencing to building our own sheds and even meeting spaces. MUD plays a critical role in the goals towards creating a more food secure community and helps us to all become experts in what our community members can share with us. Thanks to MUD Missoula is a cohesive community that plays a critical role in the lives of many living in the city.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We found it educational & fun! What a urban great resource!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 1

MUD's Bethanne Garamon is an unprofessional backstabber. I volunteers for MUD. It didn't take long to hear Bethanne talking trash against us "grubby" volunteers. She also has a habit of blaming other for her mistakes. She disregarded instructions on one of her projects and blamed. me. MUD also passed up an opportunity to publicize and spread it's message outside of Montana.
very UNPROFESSIONAL.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

MUD has several programs, but its oldest is probably its most valuable to many people. The lending tool library makes it possible for Missoulians to ignore the standard American approach wherein every family must have every tool they ever need, even if that need occurs only once or once in a great while. It makes sense for people to share resources, and MUD's tool library is a great way to do that, especially for families of limited means.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mud is one of the things that makes Missoula such a great place. It is a wonderful resource for people looking to live a sustainable lifestyle. From workshops, to tool rentals, to wonderful parties...I cannot imagine a Missoula without MUD.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved into one of the houses at the demonstration site a few months ago and love what they are doing in this town. The other residents and I tend the chickens and eat the eggs every morning! We are starting to plan for this summer's demonstration garden in our backyard. So far, so good, MUD!

Review from Guidestar

Mark M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with MUD for nearly 20 years. Experiences get better and better with time. I enjoy teaching workshops (fruit tree pruning & blacksmithing) and getting folks started on a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Keep up the great work and count on me for involvement in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every city needs organizations like MUD. Their education programs along with their action on real issues strengthens their community every day. They have sustainable answers and ideas for a multitude of issues. I got to participate in some really great education projects with the youth of Missoula through MUD and watched the kids learn some amazing things about sustainability in a fun and constructive way.
I believe that self-reliant living is the only way to create a fully functioning and long lasting society, MUD gives their community amazing opportunities to learn how to live that lifestyle and in turn creates a much healthier and happier society.
I couldn't recommenced them any higher, I've come away with all positive experiences!

Review from Guidestar

Chris C.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The few times I've used MUD for tools or volunteered there I have come away with a renewed sense of positive direction in our community. The staff (volunteers) at MUD are incredibly helpful, and provided valuable feedback on my project building a small scale bio-char kiln. The variety, and frequency of classes are a great way to help people get their own projects started.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Missoula Urban Demonstration has done some great things for the community and a lot of Missoula families. Last year I was building a chicken coop and M.U.D. volunteers walked me through what has worked and hasn't for them. I also designed my compost around the model that M.U.D. has on site and my next project is going to be a rain water collection system very similar to To their existing unit, The inspiration for these projects has come from countless visits to the M.U.D. work shops and Tool library were the volunteers have always been so generous and informative, They are all truly appreciated.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD has been in the Missoula Community for 30 years. I think that's incredible! There's nothing better I can think of than helping this organization win $5000 on their anniversary by putting in a review.

Review from Guidestar

Katie C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD is a great resource for the Missoula community. We are lucky to have so many committed individuals.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUD is coordinating the 2011 Earth Day Celebration, which I am helping with. They work hard to make our community aware of sustainable living and its benefits, and to make it easy for people to adopt those practices into their daily life.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love MUD! Can't wait for Earth Day at Caras Park.