Livermore, California – September 25, 2023 – The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) announced the installation of new playground equipment at Robertson Park in response to a request from a young community member, Avery Kohn.
In January 2023, a 9-year-old Livermore resident, Avery Kohn, sent a letter to LARPD Board Member Jan Palajac, expressing her desire to see monkey bars added to the Robertson Park playground. Recognizing the importance of involving young people in the public process, Palajac took the request seriously and referred it to the Facilities Committee.
Avery was invited to participate in a Facilities Committee meeting held via Zoom, where she presented her ideas and learned about the committee’s responsibilities. Her presence was met with enthusiasm, not only by the committee members but also by her family.
Avery’s mother, Laura Kohn, expressed her gratitude in an email to Palajac, stating, “Thank you so much for inviting my daughter, Avery Kohn, to participate in the democratic process and experience the power of her written voice. She learned a lot by seeing how the Facilities Committee operates and the variety of topics you are responsible for.”
Kohn added, “Thank you for taking a 9-year-old girl seriously. I know this experience will be important to her as she grows and becomes more involved in her community as an adult.”
Parks and Facilities Manager Fred Haldeman worked with equipment manufacturers on the feasibility of Avery’s request. They determined that traditional monkey bars would not fit within the existing playground footprint. However, a suitable variation was identified, and LARPD staff purchased and installed the equipment.
On Thursday, September 21, a Ribbon Cutting was held at Robertson Park, attended by Avery Kohn, her family, friends, LARPD Board Members, LARPD Staff, and community members. The installation of the monkey bars is a testament to the power of community engagement, especially in working with Livermore's youth.
As Avery climbed and played on the new monkey bars, her mother shared a touching moment, revealing that Avery declared, “I’m going to be President!” Such dreams, sparked by early community involvement, are the building blocks of future leaders.
LARPD is grateful to the Kohn family for participating in the public process and inspiring other young community members to voice their ideas.