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Common Ground Fair and Lawn Games for Life! Make an Ideal Match

Charlotte Tukey, mother of SafeLawns founder Paul Tukey, enjoys a game of ladder golf with her fiance Ralph Beckwith.

UNITY, MAINE — The SafeLawns Foundation combined old-fashioned outdoor fun with landscape education at this year’s Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine, during its annual three-day run in late September.

It became a family affair for SafeLawns founder Paul Tukey, who was joined at the educational booth by his 71-year-old mother, Charlotte, and her fiancé, Ralph Beckwith, on Friday. Paul’s 19-year-old son, Paul III, then helped out on Friday and Saturday as hundreds of the 59,000 fairgoers enjoyed the Lawn Games for Life! exhibit set up next to the SafeLawns booth.

Featuring several of the games from the book, Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games — including Hoop Trundling, Bocce, Croquet, Kubb, Molkky, Ladder Golf and Frisbee, among others — the Lawn Games for Life! area proved to be popular with all ages.

“After a year of traveling the nation with these games, the Fair brought it all together,” said Paul Tukey Sr. “There is no better time to remind parents about the risks associated with synthetic chemical lawn care than when their children are actually rolling around in the grass having a good time. Health risks should never have to be a part of a family’s outdoor experience. For these three days, at least, pesticide exposure wasn’t a care.”

Here are a few other scenes from this year’s Fair:

This old-fashioned wooden croquet set, on loan from LL Bean in Freeport, was put to constant use and brought back a raft of childhood memories for many fairgoers.


These wooden hoops, on loan from the Cooperman Company of Vermont, are typically used for “trundling” or racing through the grass. This particular fairgoer drew a crowd with her innovative hoop dance.

Teenagers gravitated toward the giant flying disk.

The game of Bocce, also loaned by LL Bean in Freeport, was a hit with all age groups.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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