To inspire an understanding and appreciation of horticulture, nature and heritage.
Dedicated to providing plant lovers of all ages a serene setting for observing and learning about horticulture, nature and heritage, Lockerly Arboretum aspires to become a nationally accredited arboretum while preserving and protecting our antebellum crown jewel, Rose Hill.
The Lockerly Arboretum Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization, has served the Milledgeville and Middle Georgia community for over 50 years as a public garden and educational resource. Founded in 1965 by Mr. E.J. Grassmann of Elizabeth, N.J., the Foundation seeks to provide outstanding ecological, horticultural and historical education in order to promote preservation and stewardship of the environment through greater knowledge and appreciation for our natural resources, wildlife and flora, and the history of our area.
Mr. E.J. Grassmann established the Lockerly Arboretum Foundation in 1965. When Mr. Grassman purchased the grounds and mansion, it was called Lockerley. He changed the spelling from the British preference of Lockerley to the more familiar American spelling of Lockerly with only one “e”. The Lockerly grounds, about 26 acres at the time Mr Grassmann purchased them, were set aside as a public garden and horticultural education facility. A major restoration of the house was conducted at that time, and it was operated as a guest house for Mr. Grassmann’s corporate interests, the American Industrial Clay Company and Georgia Kaolin. The Arboretum property was added to over the years, and the house eventually came to be owned by English China Clays. In 1998, the house was acquired by the Arboretum, and was opened to the public as a house museum.
In 1999, Col. and Mrs. Oliver Worley donated 193 acres of land in Putnam Co, GA to Lockerly Arboretum Foundation and provided Lockerly with the resources to develop this property as a nature center. The Oliver N. Worley Outdoor Education Center is used for educational programs, Boy Scout programs, and Lockerly’s popular summer camp program.