RALEIGH, N.C. – State Employees’ CU is partnering with the North Carolina Botanical Gardens to develop landscaping templates for SECU’s 235 branches using only North Carolina native plants.

The idea was suggested by SECU member Tom Earnhardt, who also is the mastermind behind the award-winning program, “Exploring North Carolina,” which airs on local PBS station WUNC-TV. “Few places on this planet have the extraordinary diversity of plants found here in North Carolina – from the spruce-fir forests in our mountains to live oaks and palm trees on our southeastern coast,” said Earnhardt.

SECU plans demonstration projects at new SECU branches in each of North Carolina’s three geographical regions – Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plains.

“This initiative will allow SECU to help NC-based nurseries, while stimulating local jobs and the economy,” said David King, a member of the SECU board. “We look forward to working with our partner groups to ‘go native’ with the SECU landscape.”

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