Welcome to the MUD blog! This is a space where we MUD folk will share new and exciting happenings at MUD, information relevant to upcoming workshops and events, and tips and tricks to living a more sustainable urban lifestyle. Thanks for tuning in!
As Missoula emerges from its winter slumber, the MUD team recently emerged from our month-long Winter Restoration. During this time, our open hours were limited to Saturdays only while we focused on improving certain aspects of MUD. With the help of veteran tool librarians Jonathan Peeblson and Park Hoeg, our new head tool librarian Christian Russel led the charge of tackling the neglected corners of the tool library and following through on several long-delayed projects, including updating our tool inventory and transforming an empty shipping container into an office space.
The Winter Restoration culminated in our Reopening Celebration and Tool Sale, where we got to show off our rejuvenated site and offer a hodgepodge of surplus tools for sale. Ultimately, the improvements made during our Winter Restoration will help ensure that the MUD Tool Library continues to be a high quality resource for the Missoula community.
Meanwhile, the MUD board and staff got down to the nitty gritty of what MUD is all about during our strategic planning retreat, facilitated by Rachel Gooen of 5th House Consulting. We debated target audiences, scrutinized our programs, and brainstormed MUD’s needs and purpose. We walked away with a new understanding of MUD that is reflected in our new mission statement:
MUD empowers people to build a more sustainable community through tool sharing and hands-on learning.
We believe that our previous mission statement, which described MUD as “promoting urban sustainable living,” did not fully communicate our role as a provider of resources that have the power to shape our community. We don’t promote, we empower. We provide the tools and the skills, and let our members take the lead in creating a better Missoula. We are a resource for change.
Our upcoming spring workshops reflect the change that we hope to empower our members to create. We will be welcoming two hives of bees to MUD this spring and demonstrating the process step-by-step in a series of hands-on beekeeping workshops. Down the line, we will also be installing a native pollinator garden to support our busy insect friends and to demonstrate sustainable, pollinator-friendly landscaping. We also plan to upgrade our inventory of gas-powered lawn mowers and line trimmers, two of our most popular items, to electrically-powered models. This will enable us to take full advantage of our solar panels while reducing our emissions and minimizing the need to consume oil and gas. By sharing tools and demonstrating skills for urban sustainability, we hope to empower all Missoulians to build a more sustainable community.
As MUD continues to evolve and grow, we want your input. Does our new mission statement capture MUD for you? Are there any workshops you would like us to offer? Feel free to leave a comment below about what would make MUD the most valuable resource for you.