A New Year Fresh Start with MUD

January is often a time of reflection and planning for the new year and for the MUD team it’s no different. Earlier this month our staff and board spent a cozy Saturday at the Missoula Public Library reflecting on our accomplishments from 2022 and getting ready for some exciting new projects in 2023.  In 2022 we: And a few things we’re looking forward to in the coming year? What projects do you have on your Read more…

Be a Beginner and Build Together

Written by Kathleen O’Brien, MUD Tool Librarian and Workshop Coordinator One of the hardest things I’ve come to learn is that if you want to be good at something, you first have to be a beginner. There are endless questions I’ll ask, followed by confusion, frustration and need for clarification. I want to learn and learn it correctly but starting at ground level can be daunting. Finding a safe space to gain this knowledge is Read more…

Demonstration Rain Garden – Working Together for Creative Solutions to Pollution

MUD and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have partnered on many projects over the last few years and we are excited to share about our latest project – a demonstration rain garden at the MUD tool library!  NWF’s Big Sky Watershed Corps member, Kassie Robakiewicz, was inspired to install a demonstration rain garden when an opportunity presented itself by the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) grants to fund watershed restoration projects. Choosing the location Read more…

Small Changes for a Sustainable Future

Small changes in our everyday lives can make a big difference for creating a more sustainable future and in decreasing our impact on the planet. That’s why we encourage sharing tools rather than buying them. That’s why we have many demonstration projects around our site to inspire people to try things like rain water catchment, using reclaimed building materials, and growing your own food. And it’s also why we are inviting people to try shopping Read more…

Nourishing Neighborhoods at MUD’s Little Free Pantry Workshop

Hello! My name is Emily Kempe and I am an intern at MUD while I work on my master’s degree in social work at the University of Montana. “What is a social worker doing at a tool library?” you might ask. Well, social work can happen at all levels of our society: individual, group, community, statewide and nationally. I personally love doing social work at the community level and MUD is the perfect hub to Read more…

Welcome Back to the MUD Tool Library

There is something so hopeful about spring. The warming weather. The buzzing bees. The buds on flowers. It feels like anything is possible. And at MUD, we are feeling especially hopeful about all of the exciting things we have planned for this year.  We’ve already hosted 6 workshops and reached over 80 participants. New members are coming to the tool library so they can work on all their new spring projects. We celebrated Earth Day Read more…

Growing a Food-Secure Community

As I watched this winter’s snow melt, I plotted my backyard garden with the same fervor that I planned my own wedding. After years of renting, I was soon to be a first-time member of the home-gardening club, and I was ready. After the maps were drafted and the spreadsheets complete…

Forging New Skills at MUD’s Blacksmithing Workshop

It’s an overcast morning in late February, and Missoula’s northside neighborhood is quiet except for the backyard of Mark Vander Meer, where embers pop from a fire pit and iron clangs against steel. Vander Meer, blacksmithing hobbyist and owner of the Missoula companies Bad Goat Forest Products and Watershed Consulting, LLC, has been leading MUD’s Blacksmithing Workshop for 10 years, and blacksmithing for more than 30. “I was living off-grid in the Swan Valley when Read more…

Tending Our Gardens, Cultivating Resilience

When you set out to dig a backyard garden bed, chances are you are more motivated by visions of the fall harvest than by notions of emotional wellbeing and community resilience. And yet, happiness and resilience are both benefits cultivated by the act of gardening. In a recent study by the Sustainable Healthy Cities Network, researchers found that “the level of emotional well-being, or happiness, reported while gardening was similar to what people reported while Read more…

The Garden Party (Almost) Turns 30

Square dancing in a parking lot beneath a star-speckled sky. String lights illuminating ripening apples and flowering lettuce. Paper plates loaded with food-truck fare. Conversations punctuated by the crunch of footsteps on crushed glass. Fiddle tunes playing late into the night. The Garden Party has long been an autumn staple of MUD. Since 1991, MUD neighbors, supporters, and friends have gathered among fruit trees and shipping containers to celebrate urban sustainability, indulge in local food Read more…