Staff Spotlight, Heather Goston

Assistant Manager Heather Goston

Assistant Park Manager, Heather Goston

Heather celebrates her good fortune as she gets to work and live in one of the most spectacular locations in Florida.

Originally from Chicago, Heather was raised in a family that valued time spent outdoors. Family vacations included hiking, camping, skiing and boating, sparking an appreciation for the natural wonders throughout the United States.

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she moved to Alaska to serve as an AmeriCorps member on a traveling trail crew.

Heather has been working in Florida State Parks for the better part of the decade, moving south to serve as a Florida Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member in 2011.

Heather served at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, focused on exotic plant species removal, education and outreach. While serving at the park, she fell in love with the Prairie, and spent a great deal of time along the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. From 2012 – 2018, Heather stayed close to the Prairie and the Trail, serving as assistant coordinator, and then statewide coordinator for the Florida Conservation Corps program, with offices located at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. She returned to supporting park operations in early 2018 as assistant manager, and has been working hard to preserve, interpret and restore the natural and cultural resources found at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail and Price’s Scrub State Park.

Heather encourages everyone to experience this magnificent 16-mile trail, that showcases the diversity of North Central Florida. The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail has something for everyone, and Heather hopes you enjoy your visit.