A Plywerk, A Story

A Plywerk, A Story… Well in this case we aim from a series of Plywerk. From the coast of Florida to adventurous lands of New Zealand discover the nice shots of our globe trotter Christine Stelling, made with the most improbable a camera.

“In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t have a real camera. I do have a dying (unsupported, consumer division) Blackberry that somehow manages to capture an image or three that is not bad.  In general, I snap photos that will prompt a giggle or two among my facebook friends.


Key West, Florida – Photo by Christine Stelling

Irony and absurdity are my pals.  That said, sometimes pics of nature trump all that. Well, more accurately, nature trumps all that. So when I venture out my door Continue reading

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Memorial Day Picture Frame Sale

This Memorial Day weekend, we’re offering one of our best discounts ever on all Plywerk photo display products: 30% off. Yes, you read that correctly, we’re giving you a whopping 30% savings to prove our motto: because your memories matter. And what better day to promote the importance of our memories than Memorial Day itself?

ComingUp_Memorial Sale_2015_Facebook banner

Pictures are powerful. Even the most basic snapshot tells a story or holds a memory of a person, place, or time. Continue reading

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Build Habitat in Your Own Backyard

Here’s an article I wrote for the spring issue of Overlook Views, my neighborhood newsletter. Nikkie West of the Audubon Society of Portland contributed.

Every yard matters. What is yours doing for urban wildlife? Since we are right in spring, now is the perfect time to think about incorporating native species into your landscape and to learn about supporting birds, butterflies and bees as a way to make your home more sustainable.

Credit: Resilience Design

Credit: Resilience Design

There are great organizations in Portland working to protect natural areas and set aside green space. Residential areas, however, constitute an average of 40% of urban land. Therefore, the efforts of individual homeowners and renters to help connect these fragments of habitat are incredibly valuable. Our region has historically been immensely biodiverse. We live at the confluence of two rivers and on the Pacific Flyway – a major bird migration route. Our many native bird, pollinator and wildlife species depend on locally native plants to survive.

One program that helps people restore habitat on their own property is the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, a partnership between the Audubon Society of Portland and Columbia Land Trust. The certification process begins with a home visit from a Habitat Technician to help identify invasive weed species and select native plants and other habitat enhancements that will compliment your yard and neighborhood. As a program participant, you’ll get this one-hour site assessment, a follow-up site report, discounted native plants as well as educational resources, coupons, encouragement, and recognition.

BHCP program co-manager Nikkie West, a resident of Overlook neighborhood, notes that a yard doesn’t need to have 100% native plants to be certified.  “Most people start with few to no native plants – and we work from there. For certification, only 5% of your yard needs to be naturescaped with natives. That leaves 95% for your dahlias, veggies, and other ornamental favorites.”

Credit: Resilience Design

Credit: Resilience Design

This past summer I signed up for the program myself. As a gardener, I wanted to incorporate more native plants, and as a sustainable landscape designer, I wanted to better help my clients who are asking for a landscape that fit the BHCP criteria. I’ve gathered a lot of new information about creating urban habitat and the small steps I’ve taken in my yard have already been worthwhile.

Just adding a few dozen more natives, putting up some bird feeders and keeping our birdbath full of fresh water has brought new species to our small lot. My toddler watches the birds every morning and we’ve been delighted to spot flocks of adorable bushtits, bright Townsend’s warblers, and overwintering Anna’s hummingbirds.

Research by Audubon and PSU is showing that community-based restoration efforts are indeed having a positive effect on the native food-web: “yards having native plant habitat, especially those which are close to naturally maintained greenspaces, have higher species richness of flying insects, moths and birds compared to yards without native plant habitats.”

It’s exciting stuff and you can be part of it. Habitat can be a component of any style of landscape, from rather wild to well-groomed. If you’ve already gone pesticide-free in your yard or are on your way, creating habitat by incorporating native plants is a great next step to making a sustainable home.

Join the momentum! There are currently over 1,900 Backyard Habitat Sites within the City of Portland and Lake Oswego. Help connect Backyard Habitats across the city.  Learn more and sign-up for the Backyard Habitat Certification Program today. 


unnamedThis post was originally published on http://blog.resiliencedesign.com. Mulysa is the owner of Resilience Design, a sustainable landscape design and consultation company based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2011, its focus is creating homesteads and habitats – multifunctional spaces that serve the needs of people and contribute to the workings of the ecosystems we reside within.


Credit: PhotosbyKIM

Mulysa Melco

Landscape Designer

Resilience Design





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Macro Photography Tips

Macro Photography Tips

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we’re going to be down at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival for some macro photography workshops with Canon and Nikon. As such, we figured it would be a good idea to offer a brief primer on macro photography techniques. Continue reading

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Plywerk for non-profits: Lighthawk

As you all know, at Plywerk, we’re More Than Just Green. We even wrote a manifesto about our core values! Not because it’s cool, but because it’s what we believe in. While doing everything humanly possible to maintain a happy and healthy workforce. It also means taking an active role in our larger community, which is why we love getting to work with some truly wonderful non-profit organizations such as Lighthawk. 

Credit: Tony Rath Photography

Credit: Tony Rath Photography

Lighthawk believes in the power of flight to accelerate conservation. That’s why Continue reading

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