Basic Operations

Lecture & Laboratory Resource

The Mills College Botanic Garden acts primarily as an educational resource for the following biology courses:

BIO 001: General Biology I with Lab
BIO 002: General Biology II with Lab
BIO 004: Introduction to Biology
BIO 018: Exploring the World of Plants
BIO 037: California Natural History
BIO 110: California Flora and Vegetation
BIO 112: Plant Physiology
BIO 118: Biology of Plants
BIO 125: Principles of Ecology
BIO 148: Principles of Evolution and Adaptation

Each semester the Botanic Garden provides plant specimens for study and experimentation in laboratories. Classes also come to the garden to conduct experiments in the green house and to observe plant specimens in the garden beds. The Botanic Garden's plant beds represent different botanical concepts, including the morphological and geographical diversity of Manzanitas across the state and naturally occurring California native plant communities including Chaparral or Redwood Forest. The Botanic Garden gives students hands-on, direct experience with plants as whole organisms, many that would otherwise be too distant or too rare to observe.


The following is a brief outline of some of the ways the Botanic Garden actively utilizes and promotes environmental sustainability:

  • Preserving local, native biodiversity by collecting, storing, and growing campus plants
  • Planting appropriate species for our Mediterranean climate
  • Applying tested scientific knowledge and method
  • Practicing alternative methods for pest and invasive species management
  • Collaborating with the Recycling Program and others to make Mills a green campus
  • Conserving water by using plants with low water needs and sheet mulching
  • Promoting good community relationships through the Community Garden
  • Experimenting with turf alternatives
  • Providing much needed habitat for local bird and amphibian species