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Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum

One of Bowling Green’s treasures, The Baker Arboretum and the Downing Museum, were built on the outskirts of the city. They overlook the city’s downtown and the rolling hills. It is the Baker Arboretum serves as an educational and research center for WKU. The collection includes Conifers, Asian maples, flowering trees, and shrubs with sculpture and art gleefully weaved across. With more than 600 species and more than 1200 cultivars or varieties, The Baker Arboretum explores the variety of plants found in the western part of Kentucky. All year round, there is interest in spring and summer blooms, stunning fall foliage, and the delicate beauty of winter, with the fascinating designs, colors, and the bark of conifers and other trees. Visitors are also welcome to stop by the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum, which showcases the work of the world-renowned artist Joe Downing.

The Baker Arboretum, founded in 1992 by Jerry Baker, covers nearly 115 acres. It is situated on rolling hills outside Bowling Green, Kentucky; the arboretum is between Bowling Green and the Western Kentucky University campus. The landscape architecture Mitchell Leichhardt (1924-2015) designed an intricate tapestry of trees and art, collaborating with the art and tree collections. We have a wide selection of dogwoods, magnolias, and other blossoming trees interspersed among conifers and Japanese maples.

Downing Museum

The first structure that became the downing museum began when Jerry Baker purchased a set of decorated antique French barn doors by the artist Joe Downing. Baker had been collecting the work of Downing for several years and decided to build a “crown jewel” of the newly created Baker Arboretum located on his property located in the rolling hills on the outside of Bowling Green, KY. A1 Pest Control Bowling Green

The “Doors of Life Pavilion” was completed 1995 in 1995, and Baker and Downing began to work together on an idea to create an entire museum devoted to the work with Downing. After many years of preparation, the finished Downing Museum opened its doors in 2008, just a year after the death of Downing. Currently, the museum not only celebrates the life and work of Joseph Dudley Downing (1925-2007) but also acts as an exhibition space for local, state, and nationally-recognized artists.


The Downing Museum at Baker Arboretum is the home of the Jerry E. Baker Fine and Decorative Arts Collection. This is the largest collection of artworks of Joseph Dudley Downing, representing the entire life of this Kentucky native artist. Alongside the work of Downing, the collection illustrates the artist. Baker’s enthusiasm for South-Central Kentucky’s fine and decorative arts and abroad.

Address: 4801 Morgantown Rd Bowling Green, KY

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