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Church’s Chicken Co-Founder Used Fortune To Convert Harsh Wasteland Into Nature Preserve

Almost 50 years ago, the land now occupied by Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Hill County, Texas was what former Church’s Chicken CEO and co-founder David Bamberger describes as the “worst piece of land I could possibly find.” Little to no running water was present, with most of the land overrun by cedars that sucked up any rainfall that came in to the area.

Today, it’s a thriving nature preserve with lush grass, plenty of animals, and gorgeous springs of water flowing throughout it. And it’s all thanks to Bamberger’s vision that he had for the land.

The decades of work Bamberger put in to convert the land was highlighted in National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase. In the mini-documentary, Bamberger recounts the struggles he faced restoring the land on Bamberger Ranch after using some of the fortune he acquired from selling his stake in Church’s Chicken to purchase the desolate wasteland in 1969.

You might wonder why Bamberger didn’t just purchase some already fertile land and utilized it as a nature preserve. He didn’t do that because he had a desire to not just preserve nature, but to restore lost habitats as well.

“My objective was to take the worst piece of land I could possibly find in the Hill Country of Texas and begin a process of restoration that would change it back to be one of the best, and that has happened right here. By habitat restoration, by working with Mother Nature instead of against her. And that’s what we’re all about.”

It’s a beautiful, heartwarming, and inspirational video on what can be done to restore even the harshest of land here in the United States, and shows you what it really means to give back to the world after all it’s given you, much like what Bamberger received with his earnings from Church’s Chicken.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.