PRESS RELEASE – Brownsville, TX – Friday, March 22, 2024. With a commitment of $834,130 in community-focused funds for FY 2024, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) proudly announces four projects driven by local organizations as the latest recipients of the first cycle of its Quality of Life Grants.

BCIC continues to champion community-led initiatives that enrich cultural, recreational, and aesthetic experiences for the people of Brownsville. The first cycle for the Quality of Life Grants was launched in October 2023. BCIC's Board of Directors meticulously examined and approved these grants in December of that same year and January of 2024. Through public hearings and a 60-day comment period, BCIC has ensured these four projects resonate with the public's aspirations and needs.

The diverse range of funded projects includes:

  • RAPIDO: Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan – cdcb | come dream. come build: Awarded $50,000 for ensuring Brownsville stands resilient in natural disasters.

  • Treetop Vistas: A Zipline – Valley Zoological Society dba Gladys Porter Zoo: Granted $719,230, elevating the zoo experience to thrilling new heights.

  • Good Neighbor Settlement House: Receiving $25,000 for vital construction plans, paving the way for the enhancement of services and preservation of its historic building.

  • Amelia Earhart Tribute Sculpture – Dean Porter Park Renovation, Inc.: Funded $39,900, celebrating the city's aviation history and Earhart’s legacy within Brownsville.

Cori Peña, President and CEO of BCIC, extends an invitation to the community to experience the transformative effects of the Quality of Life Grants. She is eager to see these initiatives in action, confident in their ability to kindle joy, spark innovation, and deepen the sense of belonging. 'At the heart of our mission is the pursuit of a robust quality of life grounded in three essentials: live, work, and play. It's upon these pillars that we can construct the grand vision we've collectively planned for Brownsville,' says Peña."

To ensure the impactful deployment of the Quality of Life Grants, BCIC welcomes Quality of Life Grant applications for projects that aim to enhance the city's beauty, innovation, and community well-being. Eligibility spans many initiatives, from urban beautification and technological advancements to cultural enrichment and environmental sustainability, aiming to enrich Brownsville's public spaces and services. To be considered, projects must be within city limits, publicly accessible, and plan for immediate implementation. (Visit this website for detailed guidelines.)

Miriam Suarez, Community Development Manager, underscores the significance of the Quality of Life Grants, “BCIC’s Quality of Life Grants represent much-needed financial support to kindle community transformation. Each project represents a vital piece in the larger picture of Brownsville's growth.'"

As anticipation builds within the community, BCIC is gearing up for the next significant milestone: the voting on the second cycle of the Quality of Life Grants during the March board meeting. Stakeholders are encouraged to stay engaged as BCIC continues to support projects that promise to bring about meaningful improvements to Brownsville's cultural, recreational, and aesthetic landscapes.



About BCIC
The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is an economic development organization dedicated to connecting people, organizations, and economic resources to elevate the quality of life in Brownsville. For more information about available programs, visit www.brownsvillecic.com.

Quality of Life Projects
BCIC champions projects that enhance Brownsville, Texas, by celebrating its history, culture, wellness, and diversity. Key initiatives include the ADA Bus Stops Enhancement Project (2015) and the introduction of interpretational signage and self-guided audio tours at Sabal Palm Sanctuary (2017), both aimed at offering an inclusive experience of the area's rich heritage. Additionally, in 2017, BCIC revitalized Riverside Park with a new playground and exercise equipment. The Inclusion Caboose project (2019) at the Southern Pacific Linear Park & Historic Battlefield Trail repurposed a historic caboose into a library to allow children access to free reading material to stimulate their imagination, develop language, and improve listening and literacy skills in a setting that feels like play. Further supporting youth development, the West Brownsville Little League Improvements project (2018) increased athletic participation and inclusivity. The BCIC's involvement in the Children's Museum of Brownsville Expansion Project - Phase 1 Master Plan (2021) underscored its commitment to educational and cultural development by expanding museum facilities and adding a new science center.