It’s common knowledge that tress clean the air, right? Turns out trees can actually contribute to air pollution. After watching this OREGON FIELD GUIDE story, you might look at plants in a whole new way. Tune in to the stations of OPB TV on Thursday, July 5 at 8:30pm and find out where trees are planted can actually make air pollution worse.

Trees and Pollution – Field Guide joins a PSU researcher investigating volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from trees. They’re using instruments that can take any leaf or any parcel of air to find out what’s in it. During photosynthesis, plants “breathe,” but this study is trying to detect what a plant is exhaling. And some of those compounds, when mixed with nitrogen oxide — a major component of car exhaust — can form a dangerous cocktail. The study might shed light on where to plant the right kinds of trees, particularly along our roadways.

Ultra-Light Hiking - Next, we hit the trail with a backpacker who has figured out a way to hike for weeks with just an eight-pound pack. Clint (aka Lint) Bunting has hiked roughly 14,000 miles including multiple hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide and others. Just over a decades ago, Lint was a kid getting into trouble when he decided to take the summer and hike the Ice-Age Trail in Wisconsin. He fell in love with the hiking but not the 40-pound pack. So he began shedding ounces and pounds from his gear. He cut off the handles of toothbrushes, devised a shelter that weighs ounces and pared down what he needed to pack to a weight less than what a child might carry to school in a book sack.

Kite Festival — FIELD GUIDE’s next story is about a sport that includes floating, fighting and synchronized dancing in the air. That’s one way to say: this isn’t your grandfather’s way to fly kites. At Oregon’s largest kite festival in Lincoln City, kites range from two inches wide to the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. There you can observe an octopus kite, 90 feet long and 35 feet wide, floating above the waves; watch a Japanese kite fighting competition; and marvel at the precision and beauty of synchronized kite flying. It’s a great way for Lincoln City to spread its high-flying message that this is the ideal place to go fly a kite.

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In its 23rd season, OREGON FIELD GUIDE remains a valuable source of information about outdoor recreation, ecological issues, natural resources and travel destinations. OREGON FIELD GUIDE airs Thursday evenings at 8:30pm on the television stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting and repeats on Sundays at 1:30am and 6:30pm. In the Mountain Time zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9:30pm Thursdays, and at 7:30pm Sundays.

About OPB

OPB delivers excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by 115,000 contributors.