Written by:
Elaine Genest

Artie Goldstein

Leads and Logistics Manager

Dirt Corps


Artie Goldstein leads and trains large fieldwork and construction crews that focus on environmental restoration in watershed and riparian habitats and building new green stormwater infrastructure in the Seattle area.

Q: Describe the personal and professional experience that led you to your current role.

A: My path to Dirt Corps began early on, starting with my love of being outdoors as a kid. I started landscaping as a preteen and even started an environmental club in high school! This early exposure laid the foundation for my career working with plants. After working as a foreman at a high-end residential landscape company and running my own landscaping business in Seattle, I realized I wanted to align my work more closely with my core values.

I knew I wanted to go deeper into the environmental part of my interests, and I also wanted to incorporate elements of community collaboration and mentorship. In middle school, I was part of a peer mediation team where I helped other students address conflict with others. I’ve always liked providing direct support to others and working to solve problems collaboratively.

These combined experiences led me to Dirt Corps, a company that provides green job training. In my position, I focus on urban reforestation and green infrastructure, applying my professional landscaping skills to a more meaningful and values-driven context. My love for working with people and my professional background in caring for plants and construction have all converged in my current role, allowing me to contribute significantly to environmental restoration efforts as an individual and as a team leader.

Artie getting into the work at Gateway Park North.

Photograph courtesy of Hannah Letinich

Q: What does the day-to-day work of your position look like?

A: The exciting thing about my work at Dirt Corps is that it varies from week to week. One week might involve installing cisterns—large vessels that store rainwater—at a local school so they can use the water for vegetable gardening. On another day, you might find us digging out blackberries to plant native species. We also canvass neighborhoods in the industrial parts of town, looking for large-scale commercial buildings where we can build rain gardens under their downspouts to filter the runoff before it ends up in our waterways.

It can be surprising too! For example, a beaver recently moved into a canal leading to one of Seattle Public Utilities’ drainage collection ponds. To protect the beaver’s habitat, we removed a blackberry thicket and installed fencing and native conifers and shrubs. Now, the surrounding neighborhood has become invested in the beaver and caring for the waterway it lives in.

“While it can be challenging to make lessons understandable for everyone, it’s also gratifying to be able to create space for more people to engage with the work.”

– Artie Goldstein

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love the diversity and the tangible impact my team and I have on communities and the environment. Our work is transforming local neighborhoods and shaping the landscape and habitat for plants and animals, which is always rewarding. It’s especially fun to help my crew learn and develop their skills and knowledge over time. I take great pride in the positive changes we bring to the world around us.

Q: What challenges do you face in your job?

A: One of the challenges in my position is working with a diverse crew with varied backgrounds and skill sets. I had to learn how to explain concepts to people who have different levels of knowledge and learning styles, which requires adapting teaching methods and strategies to help everyone learn and contribute effectively to our projects. While it can be challenging to make lessons understandable for everyone, it’s also gratifying to be able to create space for more people to engage with the work.

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© Kevin Arnold