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. Lockerly open to the public six days a week, FREE of charge. It is an almost 50-acre living botanical laboratory with walking trails, trees from around the world, a picnic area, a pond, the Woods Museum and the 1852 Greek Revival House, Rose Hill.
Mr. E.J. Grassmann of Elizabeth, N.J. established the Lockerly Arboretum Foundation in 1965 after acquiring the 1852 house and property (about 26 acres). After separating the house and about 2.5 acres he successfully acquired an adjacent 20 acres and combined this with the remaining acreage to create the Arboretum as a public garden for horticulture education. A major restoration of the house was completed so that it served as a guest house and retreat for Mr. Grassmann’s corporate interests, the American Industrial Clay Company and Georgia Kaolin. In 1998, the house was acquired by the Arboretum, and was opened to the public as an education and event venue.
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.
Lockerly is home to one of only 19 Southeastern Regional American Conifer Society Reference Gardens. It also contains a significant Camellia collection, included on the Georgia Camellia trail guide, a recently planted Japanese Maple Collection and an established native plant collection. In 2017, the Arboretum received Level II accreditation through ArbNet, an international collaborative that sets standards for tree focused gardens.