"My dad is a real outdoorsman," says Val Rogers, who developed a passion for outdoor activities when her family moved from Louisiana to Idaho. "I was 10 that year, and we did a hundred-mile horsepack trip." After high school in Idaho Falls, she started college at Utah State in Salt Lake. "The Hoedads brought me to Oregon," says Rogers, who planted trees a couple of seasons, then worked for the Forest Service for many years, on jobs ranging from seed collection to watershed analysis. She commuted to OSU and completed a geography masters in 2002. "My project was right here at Buford Park," says Rogers, who was hired as volunteer coordinator for the Friends of Buford Park and Mt Pisgah in 2006 and recently named development director. "I looked at the flood history of the area, how it was altered by dams." In 2009, 750 volunteers helped out at the park, Lane County's largest. Rogers' other passion is music. She joined the Eugene Peace Choir in the 80s, directed the choir from 1999 to 2006, and toured with the vocal group Northern Harmony in 2007. She currently gives workshops on South African song and dance, including a guest-teaching gig with the University Singers and Dance Africa at the UO this fall.