Jacob’s Bike Rides & Awareness Walk

Jacob Francisco Memorial Century & Awareness Walk

Hosted by:

Johnson City Morning Rotary Club & Tri Cities Road Club to benefit 501(c)(3) Boone Watershed Partnership, Inc. 


Since 2005, this was an event that initially raised funds for ETSU Foundation for the Jacob Francisco Lecture Series at Quillen College of Medicine and for stream research by students at ETSU College of Public Health.  One year, it raised over funds to support the services by a national public health organization, Stop Foodborne Illness.  During the last five years through Earth Week 2016, it raised funds for development of Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek.  The event raised awareness of E. coli bacteria in our community.  Now, this life-saving information can be found every day at Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek.  Jacob’s family and friends are grateful to all the organizations, businesses, and individuals who donated their time, materials and supplies, and money for this event.


East Tennessee State University parking lot behind Knight’s Pizza
1701 W. State of Franklin Rd
Johnson City , TN 37604

Parking available in the ETSU lots behind Knight’s Pizza and Precision Auto Care

About the Bike Rides

Jacob’s Bike Rides include open-road routes of friendly ten miles, twenty miles, and a moderately difficult metric century.  All routes begin and end at the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) parking lot behind Knight’s Pizza on W. State of Franklin in Johnson City.  The shorter routes travel rolling hills with beautiful mountain views.  The metric century travels over Buffalo Mountain within the first 10 miles and wanders around Washington County over some rolling hills with views of the mountains and Nolichucky River.  Well-stocked rest stops managed by enthusiastic volunteers and restrooms are available along the metric century.  Knight’s Pizza will offer post-event pizza slice and drink for registrants during its regular business hours.  Fruit and refreshments will be available for everyone upon return.

Maps for Metric, 20 mile, and 10 mile routes: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/990831349


About the Awareness Walk

The Awareness Walk is approximately 2.5 miles non-competitive walk beside Brush Creek on the Millennium Trail parallel to W. State of Franklin toward downtown Johnson City. The walkers will begin their walk behind the departing cyclists, and will enjoy the awareness-raising artwork completed by area elementary students in an open-air gallery. Fruit and refreshments will be available upon return. Opportunity to win prizes available to all registrants who participate in the health quiz upon returning from the educational walk.

Why participate?

Jacob Francisco was a kind, active, smart six year-old boy when he was contaminated with an E.coli bacteria from an unknown source. Flu-like symptoms quickly developed into renal kidney failure from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which spread the toxicity of the E.coli bacteria to every body organ causing him to suffer and die on June 29, 2004, just over 2 weeks of showing his first symptom. This is not a rare illness. HUS is the leading cause of renal kidney failure of America’s children.  Shortly before he got ill, Jacob declared that he would be famous one day, and would be on the covers of magazines.  He didn’t know what would bring his fame so his family and friends work to create Jacob’s fame for inspiring and saving lives.

Shortly after his passing, the Jacob Francisco Memorial Century & Awareness Walk was established as a fundraiser for the ETSU Foundation for the Jacob Francisco Lectureship, which paid expenses for renowned medical lectures at the Quillen College of Medicine about E.coli bacteria prevention and treatment. Since 2011, Jacob’s Bike Rides & Awareness Walk raises funds for the non-profit organization, Boone Watershed Partnership, Inc. (BWP), who is collaborating with the City of Johnson City to build an environmental education park at Sinking Creek.  Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek embodies how Jacob loved to live: exploring, learning, and caring about who & what was around him.

Before climbing Buffalo Mountain, the metric century travels along the high end of Sinking Creek past Jacob’s home. Sinking Creek has been found to be contaminated with E.coli bacteria; prevalently, at the lower end of the stream. Through the Sinking Creek Restoration Project, Jacob’s story shared the dangers of E. coli bacteria with the community.  This collaborative effort from ETSU, the City of Johnson City, Boone Watershed Partnership, and Sinking Creek residents resulted with twenty-four new sewer connections, four septic repairs, one agricultural project affecting twenty acres along Sinking Creek, and a 2.1 acre wetlands expansion completed through a Tennessee Department of Agriculture grant during 2009 – 2013.

A logical extension of the Sinking Creek Restoration Project is the development of an environmental education park on 28 acres of city property that include Sinking Creek wetlands. BWP and city leaders are anxious to work with other partners to build bridges, a wetlands boardwalk, and outdoor classroom that will be used by students from area schools. Hundreds of volunteers have created nearly two miles of wetlands and woodlands hiking trails throughout the park.  This park will be a constant reminder that will raise a community conscience to rid, or at least reduce the E. coli in Sinking Creek. Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek addresses public health concerns of water quality, childhood obesity, and recreational opportunities for seniors and adults with intellectual disabilities in the neighborhood.

Jacob’s Project is at the forefront to help Boone Watershed Partnership, Inc. and the City of Johnson City develop this environmental education park.  If you would like to financially support this development, please make your online tax-deductible contribution at http://boonewatershed.org/index.php/get-involved/donate1/; or, mail to: BWP-Jacob’s Park, P.O. Box 774, Milligan College, TN 37682.  For in-kind contributions and community service opportunities, contact Johnson City Parks & Recreation Park Nature Program Coordinator, Connie Deegan at conniedeegan@johnsoncitytn.org, or Bill Francisco at wlcisco@aol.com.

Please come ride or walk with us during Earth Week on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9:00AM to help raise awareness and funds for Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek and celebrate the restoration of Sinking Creek.

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