NHA Recognizes Sprint Waste Founders for Environmental Impact

Congratulations to Sprint Waste partner Joe Swinbank and his longtime business partner Don Poarch for being recognized with the North Houston Association’s 2020 Environmental Impact Award. Swinbank and Poarch were honored yesterday at NHA’s regional update & awards luncheon at Woodlands Waterway Marriott, with Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle speaking at the event.

The NHA Environmental Impact Award is presented annually to an individual or business that has showcased insurmountable efforts in preserving and protecting the north Harris/Montgomery County region’s environment. NHA member Bayou Land Conservancy (BLC) nominated Swinbank and Poarch for their visionary donation of land for permanent protection along Spring Creek just north of Tomball.

The 117-acre floodplain tract of land, located on the north side of Spring Creek directly across from Lone Star College­–Tomball, is an oasis of wetlands, wildlife and water that will help the BLC connect the community in the Tomball–Rosehill area with its land conservation mission. Originally purchased in the 1990s for aggregate mining for their company Sprint Sand & Clay, Swinbank and Poarch decided in 2020 the property could benefit the community in multiple ways and fit BLC’s mission to preserve land along streams for flood control, clean water and wildlife. 

In nominating the two men for the award, BLC Executive Director Jill Boullion lauded them as native Houstonians who care deeply about the community. “Mr. Swinbank and Mr. Poarch recognized the value in preserving the flood plain property to mitigate flooding along Spring Creek, and happily made this donation that will leave a legacy in the community for many years to come,” Boullion said. “These two gentlemen are setting a valuable example for others to follow in the protection of our communities from flooding and the preservation of habitat for both wildlife and people to enjoy.”

“We’re honored to accept the NHA’s Environmental Impact Award and grateful to our friends at the Bayou Land Conservancy not only for nominating us but also for partnering with us to create a way for this land to accomplish so much lasting value for generations of Houstonians,” Swinbank said. “With greater Houston growing so rapidly, businesses, private landowners and organizations like BLC must work together to achieve progress on our biggest sustainability challenges, like balancing land development with land preservation.

“The BLC’s mission is just good policy that benefits all involved,” he added. “We hope more businesses and private landowners will follow our lead and consider gifting floodplains and wetlands in this way to ensure cleaner air and water, mitigate flooding, and create beautiful trails and parklands for everyone to enjoy.”

Swinbank (pictured below with the BLC's Boullion, right) and Poarch are long-time business partners dating back to 1976, when they began the Sprint Companies, Sprint Sand & Clay, and, in 2006, Sprint Waste Services (Poarch sold his ownership of Sprint Waste in 2010). 

For more information about the Bayou Land Conservancy and its mission to protect and preserve the Houston region’s iconic natural landscapes, click here.