Bayou Land Conservancy Honors Swinbank and Poarch

Sprint Waste Services is pleased to announce the Bayou Land Conservancy has named Sprint Waste partner Joe Swinbank and Don Poarch as 2020 Conservation Champions. The award will be formally presented from 6–7 p.m. Nov. 13. at the organization’s annual Land Lover Gala. Sprint Waste Services is a proud sponsor of the event and the important work of the Conservancy.

The Conservation Champion award is presented annually to an individual or group that has made an exceptional impact on land conservation in the Houston region, according to BLC. Swinbank and Poarch, partners in Sprint Sand & Clay, donated 117 acres of land along Spring Creek in the Tomball–Decker Prairie area to Bayou Land Conservancy earlier this year.

The donation makes possible a new preserve, located in Montgomery County on the opposite bank of Spring Creek from Lone Star College—Tomball and Harris County Precinct 4’s Spring Creek Park. “We are excited to own this ecologically rich nature preserve that will help us connect the community to the benefits of land conservation,” said BLC board chair Lisa Lin. “This donation will benefit the community for many generations, and be an enduring legacy of the incredible generosity of Mr. Swinbank and Mr. Poarch.”

Swinbank and Poarch are long-time business partners dating back to 1976, when they began the Sprint Companies, Sprint Sand & Clay, and, in 2006, the flagship company Sprint Waste Services (Poarch sold his ownership of Sprint Waste in 2010).

“As the greater Houston area continues to grow at a rapid pace, striking a healthy balance between land preservation and land development has never been more important as we seek to protect the many economic and community benefits we all enjoy,” Swinbank said. “The Bayou Land Conservancy’s extensive network of preserved trails and waterways just minutes from Houston is impressive in its form and function—a model of what can be achieved when community stakeholders work together. We’re proud to partner with the Conservancy to continue these important environmental efforts and extend BLC’s preserved trails and waterways west into the Tomball area.”

Don Poarch echoed his partner’s sentiments in acknowledging the award.  “We’re grateful for the recognition as this year’s Conservation Champion and happy to continue to champion the BLC and its important mission to preserve these lands for natural flood control, cleaner water and wildlife protection,” Poarch said. “On behalf of our entire team at Sprint Sand & Clay, Joe and I hope this land along Spring Creek enhances the community with protected green space while providing beautiful trails and waterways for people to reconnect with nature and each other.”

Beyond the positive environmental and community impact, the land in Tomball has personal significance to Swinbank and his family. “My wife was raised in the area, and her extended family has deep roots in Tomball and Rosehill going back to the area’s original German settlers,” Swinbank added. “My family and I couldn’t be happier that the Conservancy will ensure this land is preserved and protected for generations to come.”

Because of the pandemic, this year’s Land Lover Gala is a virtual event with the theme Wild About Texas. Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle and his wife Janet are honorary co-chairs of the gala. In addition to honoring the award winners, BLC will welcome Emmy-nominated wildlife filmmaker Ben Masters to the livestream as the keynote speaker. 

Anyone can attend with a $5 donation and by registering for the live broadcast here. For more information about the Bayou Land Conservancy and the work it is doing to protect and preserve the Houston region’s iconic natural landscapes, click here.