2015 to 2019
Recognizing a need to increase community capacity for planning and maintaining green infrastructure projects as well as a lack diversity in the fields of GSI design, construction and maintenance, USD, teamed up with Aster Rosa Design and Bellwether Design to establish DIRT Corps as a program of Urban Systems Design. A white paper written by USD titled, "Duwamish Valley Green Infrastructure Job Training," outlined the need for such a program, garnering external support for the initiative.
From 2015-2019, over 100 diverse individuals completed the training program to increase their skills and employability in expanding urban sustainability jobs. Trainings are offered quarterly focused on green stormwater infrastructure, urban forestry and ecological restoration to continue training a new workforce for a growing industry.
DIRT Corps became its own licensed and bonded construction company in 2019, and continues to partner with USD on grants, programs and other community-based initiatives.
DIRTCorps participants learn to fit pipes for cisterns as part of quarterly training
DIRTCorps trainees tour wastewater treatment facility as part of training program. Curriculum and tour organized and led by USD.
DIRTCorps graduate installs a cistern as part of the RainWise program. Graduates of the program provide installation and maintenance services to GSI projects across Seattle.