2009-10-08 / Sports

Third Annual Texas Chainsaw Manicure Scheduled for Down Home Ranch

Lexington's Angel Parks is ready at the net. PHOTO BY MIKE ORGAN. Lexington's Angel Parks is ready at the net. PHOTO BY MIKE ORGAN. The Texas Chainsaw Manicure is an annual event to help Down Home Ranch clear brush and remove fire-ladder timber on its property. The event this year is Saturday, October 17, from 8a.m. to 5p.m. Down Home Ranch is a working farm and ranch for people with disabilities such as Down syndrome. It is located in southeast Williamson County and northwest Lee County.

Down Home Ranch is collaborating with the Texas Forest Service on a long-term plan to thin trees, cut and remove brush to reduce fire danger, increase protection for buildings, expand grazing pastures for horses and cattle, and open up areas for recreational and agricultural use.

Volunteers with chainsaws— who know how to use them—are welcome to sign up as sawyers. Those with willing hearts and sturdy bodies but no chainsaw experience can don a pair of sturdy gloves and be swampers, dragging trees, limbs, shrubs and other plant material to trailers. Long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes are required for all volunteers. The Ranch will furnish gloves and protective eyewear for adults. Williamson County's year-long burn ban has been lifted, and nonusable timber and brush will be burned, including significant piles left over from last year, so burners will also be needed. A large chipper truck will be on hand to make mulch for trails, trees and gardens.

Down Home Ranch has received national recognition as a FireWise Community by the U.S. and Texas Forest Services for its work to reduce fire danger. The Ranch is home to 21 residents with intellectual disabilities, and also serves over 400 campers with special needs at its summer and weekend camps.

Elgin's Southside Market will cater lunch, and active participants will receive this year's edition of the Texas Chainsaw Manicure T-shirt.

Volunteers are asked to sign up early. For more info, call 888-926- 2253.

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