The management plan for Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve is updated every 10 years. Each time the plan is updated, the public is invited to review and comment on the management of natural habitats and recreational resources on the preserve. The current draft was shared with an advisory group of environmental professionals who also provided comment.



Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve is an approximately 1,181-acre nature preserve within the Bullfrog Creek Watershed in southern Hillsborough County. It was purchased from the Emil C. Marquardt, Jr. land trust in 1995 and subsequently sold to the Preservation 2000/CARL Program. Hillsborough County now leases and manages the site.

Upland and wetland communities within the preserve include scrub, scrubby flatwoods, mesic and wet flatwoods, mesic and hydric hammocks, wet prairie, and depression marshes. These natural communities support a diverse array of native plant and animal species and are relatively undisturbed by previous land uses.

The Florida golden aster, federally listed as endangered, is found throughout much of the scrub habitat. Other imperiled plant species such as yellow butterwort, red margin zephyr lily, and Treat’s zephyr lily have been found on the site. At least two Florida scrub endemic plants, Curtiss’ milkweed and nodding pinweed, also have been documented on this preserve.

Imperiled animal species found on the preserve include the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, Florida scrub-jay, Southeastern American kestrel, Florida sandhill crane, and several species of wading birds.

The water resources on the preserve are limited to the wetland habitats, artificial ponds, and the headwaters of Kitchen Branch stream.

Recreational use of the preserve is limited to hiking on marked trails, guided tours, and passive wildlife observation. The site has minimal facilities in the form of a composting toilet and picnic pavilion.

View the Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve Management Plan.

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