Created By: Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center
This is the main channel of Brooker Creek. The headwaters of this creek are a series of cypress domes in northwestern Hillsborough County. This channel travels 15 miles from the headwaters to Lake Tarpon and is fed by 12 other smaller channels within the Brooker Creek watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet, in this case, Brooker Creek! Over 500 species of plants, more than 20 species of amphibians, 50 species of reptiles, and 40 species of mammals live within this watershed. The Preserve protects approximately one third of the Brooker Creek watershed, having a crucial positive effect on the water quality that eventually enters Tampa Bay. The dark color of the water is a result of fallen leaves. These leaves leech their tannins into the water as it meanders through the Preserve. Think of this like tea. You start off with clear water from the rain, but when you add the leaf or tea bag the water is stained from these tannins. During the dry months (November through April), it’s not unusual for all channels to dry up, which is why scientists call this an ephemeral system. Ephemeral means “lasting a short time,” so this refers to the water only being around for periods of time throughout the year.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Friends Trail Walking Tour