Bill Francisco has used a personal tragedy as an important teaching opportunity. Since the death of his 6-year-old son, Jacob, in 2004, from complications of an E. coli infection, the Johnson City attorney has worked to raise money and awareness for E. coli prevention.
Francisco has joined members of the Boone Watershed Partnership to work on the Sinking Creek Restoration Project — an effort to tackle a probable source of E. coli here in Johnson City. Sinking Creek has been identified as “impaired water” by the state of Tennessee because of E. coli contamination.
Now, Francisco hopes to develop a 28-acre environmental education park on city-owned wetlands located off King Springs Road.
One of the goals of the park, Francisco told Press staff writer Gary B. Gray last week, is to teach area schoolchildren and parents about the importance preserving water quality. This is a worthy project that deserves the support of both public and private entities.
You can learn more about the long-term effects of waterborne E. coli by attending the Jacob Francisco Memorial Lecture today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine.