CSE Employees plant 80 trees in parks in LC, Sulphur, Jennings and DeRidder

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

CSE Federal Credit Union is deepening its roots in Southwest Louisiana.

The financial institution has served SWLA for eight decades. In honor of 80 years of grounded and connected service, CSE hosted a community-wide tree planting event on Tuesday morning, February 6, to nurture the local ecosystem and pour resources back into SWLA.

Employees planted 80 trees in parks across four cities in SWLA: Admiral Nimitz Park and Hillcrest Park in Lake Charles, McMurry Park in Sulphur, Oil and Gas Park and Franklin Park in Jennings and West Park in DeRidder.

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Native oak trees were chosen because they are sustainable in SWLA’s local ecosystem; CSE worked with community leaders, local officials and Resource Environmental Solutions to make sure the planted trees will have “meaningful impact.”

CSE President and CEO Matt Koch said in a release that the ceremonial planting is symbolic of CSE’s commitment to the area.

“Much like an oak tree, CSE’s deep roots are firmly anchored in Southwest Louisiana and this initiative is a testament to our commitment, longevity and growth in the communities we serve.”

Morgan Algero, marketing supervisor, CSE, said that the decision to plant oak trees had metaphorical meaning as well.

“It wasn’t just because these are native in Southwest Louisiana. We chose specifically to do this because Oak is symbolic of 80 years, and that’s how long CSE’s been involved in the communities we serve.”

Oak trees are also representative of two distinctive qualities of SWLA: strength and resilience.

“You need that to continue to thrive and survive,” she said.

Following the natural disasters of 2020 and 2021, the need for trees in SWLA is great. CSE’s effort to plant trees was a collaborative effort with municipalities.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic said at the ceremony that the tree-planting aligned with the goals of the ReTreeLC Initiative – a far-reaching, partner-driven mission to sustainably replant trees within the City.

“It was just perfect,” he said. “We are so excited when we find partners like CSE, because sometimes the City is scrounging and begging and pleading for people to come to the table and do stuff like this. … This is symbolic for CSE, but it is also symbolic as a part of our recovery story for the City of Lake Charles.”

He said the City estimates that 3000 trees have been planted as part of ReTree LC.

Algero said that it is important to CSE that they give back to SWLA in a way that is meaningful and evergreen.

“We also wanted to give back to the communities that have given so much to us. To us, it’s more than our mission of helping members achieve financial success. We want to invest in their communities, and we want to make the quality of life so much better.”

Each City will have 20 trees planted.