Hundreds of College Students Enjoy Lawn Games in Boston
BOSTON — Facing the start of final exams later this week, hundreds of college students at Northeastern University left the confines of their dorms and the library to join SafeLawns founder Paul Tukey for an afternoon of games outdoors on the campus quad.
“I’m delighted with the turnout,” said professor Ron Whitfield, director of the new Business Sustainability Institute at the university who conceived of the event as a way for students to relax and reconnect with nature. “I’m seeing a lot of smiles, a lot of participation, which is exactly what we planned. This weather doesn’t hurt, I’m sure.”
Temperatures were well in the 80s when Tukey, author of the new book, Tag, Toss & Run, officially kicked off the event at 1:30. He brought many of the 40 games featured in the book, including the popular Finnish skittles game known as Molkky, as well as Ladder Golf, Kubb, Bocce, Badminton, Croquet, Badminton, Hoop Trundling and others. At various times faculty and children joined in.
“This is a build-it-and-they-will-come situation,” said Tukey. “Everywhere we take this concept people are just naturally drawn to join in and play. They may watch at first, unsure of what to play. But there’s a game here for everyone, from the youngest, most athletic, to the folks who just want to toss a few Ladder Golf bolas.”
Earlier in the day Tukey offered a book signing and lecture in the university library where he stressed his other motivation in co-authoring the book (with actress Victoria Rowell).
“We want to grow lawns to play on, not just to look at, and we want to do so with techniques and products that don’t have toxic side effects,” he said. “Children, especially, are at risk from substances that warn us to keep off the grass. How is that possible when we apply those products to our playgrounds, our parks and our own back yards?”