Tag: Aerial

San Francisco Recreation and Parks holds soft opening for new aerial ropes course at McLaren Park

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — 10 eager residents took to the treetops Saturday at John McLaren Park in San Francisco, clambering through the soft opening of a new ropes course.

The course, led by trained Outward Bound educators, was open for the first of four free community days in November: this weekend, and next.

There are ground-level team challenges and loftier features like logs and bridges slung between poles several feet off the ground.

Bravery is definitely put the test through a variety of novel aerial challenges, including a “centipede ladder.”

The contraption is a ladder made of rope and wood suspended in the air, meant to be climbed as it sways in the wind.

There is also an “incomplete bridge” that challenges climbers with fortitude to cross a span of increasingly wide-spaced planks attached to steel cables slung between poles.

RELATED: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to transform into winter wonderland light exhibit for 150th anniversary

Located in the Wilde Overlook area of the park, on the city’s southeastern edge, the course is the product of a partnership between the city’s recreation and park department and Outward Bound California.

City officials say the goal of the challenges, besides getting past that first glimpse of the ground below, is to provide a mix of leadership training, character development and recreation.

This course is intended to help in those areas especially for schools and nonprofits serving students from low-income communities.

In addition, elements of the course have been made accessible to students with disabilities, according to city officials.

RELATED: SF’s Golden Gate Park celebrates 150th anniversary with 150-foot SkyStar Observation Wheel

For those worried about the coronavirus, a maximum of 10 people are allowed on the course.

There are also helmets and harnesses for safety purposes.

To get on the waiting list for future free community programs or to bring a school group, Outward Bound can be contacted here.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Aerial allows users to calculate carbon emissions from trips

Aerial, which launched October 20, is the brainchild of three tech entrepreneurs with combined backgrounds at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, who wanted to allow everyday travelers to be able to involve themselves in doing their part to reduce global warming. “A nice analogy is: the same way Instagram turned everyone into a photographer,” says Ebby Amir, one of the cofounders, “we want Aerial to turn everyone into taking climate action.”

After downloading Aerial, users can connect it to their Gmail accounts, and over the course of about a minute, the app scans the inbox for travel itineraries—flight reservations, Uber and Lyft ride receipts, and train tickets—and presents users with an estimate, in kilograms, of carbon emissions of each trip taken. “After a couple minutes using the app, users will be able to calculate their carbon the same way they might do their calories or their steps,” Amir says.

For each of those rides, the app will also produce a currency figure for a recommended contribution they can make to help offset that trip, at a rate of $10 per ton. “So, you’re essentially purchasing a carbon-offsetting credit,” says Andreas Homer, one of the other cofounders. Aerial is partnering with a forest conservation project verified by Climate Action Reserve, and with each contribution, users can help conserve a given number of trees in McCloud, a forest near Mount Shasta in Northern California, 9,000 acres of conifers including incense cedars, ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and sugar pines. They chose this particular partner because forest conservation is often better for carbon sequestration than reforestation, because mature trees are better at absorbing more carbon.

Two days after the launch, the team has calculated its users have saved 301 trees. That metric will be the one they track as they chart the app’s progress, and as they gather more data and feedback, they hope to add more features and launch a new version next year, which will hopefully allow users to select from different offsetting initiatives. “In the future, we will offer users choice, to allow them to pick a project that resonates with them,” Homer says. These may include verified reforestation or sustainable energy projects, and ones specific to users’ geographic locations.

Experts generally agree that carbon offsetting alone is not a viable solution to reduce emissions enough to reach sustainability targets—we’ll need more major policy changes instead, along with changes to our lifestyles. “We do recognize that carbon offsetting has its limitations,” Homer says, “but at the same time, we think it’s the easiest way for most people to get involved and to start doing their part.” To encourage well-rounded lifestyle changes, the app’s Discover tab is filled with tips and context on sustainable habits.

Fewer people are traveling during the pandemic, but because the app searches your inbox, it also lets you retroactively balance out past trips, says Ari Sawyers, the third cofounder. Also on Aerial’s roadmap is branching out from transport to include other sectors. The team has started testing home

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