Artist Susan Falk is putting her money where her mouth is, when it comes to preserving Langley woodlands.
Falk has put a small work up for sale at the Fort Gallery, with all the proceeds going to the Watchers of Langley Forests (WOLF), the new non-profit group trying to preserve a piece of Township-owned land.
In late October, Falk was one of many who attended an arts event in what WOLF calls the McLellan Forest East, and what the Township calls Gray Pit.
The former gravel pit site is one of two sites the Township contemplated selling last spring. Both sites are on 84th Avenue in Glen Valley in north east Langley.
The westernmost of the two sites, and the slightly more heavily forested, was taken off the market after a public outcry.
But the Township went ahead with plans to sell the eastern, Gray Pit site. The Township is hoping to sell a few of the properties it has acquired over the years through non-payment of property taxes.
The money will fund a number of present-day building projects, including the creation of a new community centre in Aldergrove, complete with a pool and new ice rink.
Falk went to the art event with a camera, listened to poetry, and got to see the land she'd been reading about in the local paper first hand.
"I got to see first hand what was going on and what they were talking about," she said.
With friends in Glen Valley, Falk said she was familiar with the general area. But she was surprised to learn about the paths through forests - paths created over the years by local residents, who have always considered the empty land unofficial parks.
Now, based on some of her photos, Falk has created a small work 12 by 15 inches, showing sunlight streaming into a small opening in the forest canopy.
"If you see a little bit of light ahead, you're always trying to walk towards that light," Falk said.
The painting focuses not just on the large trees, but on the underbrush and ferns that line the forest floor.
The money from the auction of the painting will go towards WOLF's expenses and efforts.
Several members of the group were on hand at the Fort Gallery on Friday for the official unveiling of the painting.
Falk said this is a relatively small painting for her, and she may do more to help as WOLF regroups.
In the last three months of 2012, the group was given a chance by Langley Township to buy the Gray Pit lands for $3 million.
However, the group had no way to find that amount of money in such a short time.
The Township is expected to determine the final fate of the lands early this year.
Falk's painting will be auctioned off, with bids starting at $400 and taken in $50 increments anytime between now and the auction's end on the last day of February. Normally, Falk would sell a painting like this for about $1,200.
To bid, visit the Fort Gallery at 9048 Glover Rd., or email susanjfalk@shaw. ca.