JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Many call it one of the hidden gems of the Tri-Cities; Jacob’s Nature Park was originally constructed as a memorial to 4-year-old Jacob Francisco who passed away in 2004 from an E-Coli infection.
Now the park has grown into a multi-use space with an arboretum and a soon-to-be outdoor classroom.
Bill Francisco, Jacob’s father, has been involved with the park from the very beginning, helping it become an arboretum and a certified wildlife habitat in 2018. Now the park provides multiple trails, that spread across 28 acres of city land. Some trails, Bill says, are easy enough to do on a lunch break!
One thing that sets the arboretum at Jacob’s Nature Park apart from the rest, is that, along with naming the tree, the plaques also recognize which butterfly the tree provides a home too.
The plaques on the tree also provide QR codes. All hikers have to do (Apple iPhone users), is pull up their camera, point it at the sign, and the phone will pull up a link with more information on the plant and where you can find it. Bill says it’s a merger of ‘Citizens and Technology’.
While visiting the park, hikers will find an abundance of wetlands, which means an abundance of wildlife! While on the trails, one can expect to find all sorts of frogs, salamanders, turtles, birds, and fish! Deer are also said to frequent the area.
Jacob’s Park is located on King Springs Rd in Johnson City.
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