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Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum  

One of Bowling Green’s hidden gems, The Baker Arboretum and the Downing Museum, were built on the outskirts of the city, overlooking downtown and the surrounding rolling hills. The Baker Arboretum serves as an educational and research facility for WKU. The collection features Conifers, Asian Maples, flowering trees, and shrubs with art and sculpture gleefully woven throughout. With over 600 species and 1200 varieties or cultivars, the Baker Arboretum explores the vast palette of plants that can grow in western Kentucky. Year-round interest includes spring and summer flowers, spectacular fall foliage, and the subtle beauty of the winter with the interesting shapes, colors, and bark of conifers and other trees. Visitors are also invited to visit the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum, featuring the works of world-renowned artist Joe Downing.

The Baker Arboretum, founded in 1992 by Jerry Baker, covers nearly 115 acres.  Built on a ridge of rolling hills on the outskirts of Bowling Green, Kentucky, the arboretum overlooks Bowling Green and the Western Kentucky University campus. Landscape architect Mitchell Leichhardt (1924-2015) designed a tapestry of trees and art, working with the tree and art collections. We are featuring wide varieties of dogwoods, magnolias, and other flowering trees woven among the conifers and Japanese maples.

Downing Museum

The original structure that would later become the Downing Museum began when Jerry Baker purchased a set of painted antique French barn doors from artist Joe Downing. Baker had collected Downing’s work for several years and wanted to create a “crown jewel” of the newly established Baker Arboretum on his property in the rolling hills on the outskirts of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The “Doors of Life Pavilion” was constructed in 1995, and Baker and Downing began collaborating on an idea for an entire museum dedicated to their work of Downing. After years of planning, the completed Downing Museum opened its doors in 2008, a year after Downing’s death. 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. A1 Pest Control of Bowling Green


The Downing Museum at Baker Arboretum manages the Jerry E. Baker Fine and Decorative Arts Collection. This includes the most comprehensive collection of works by Joseph Dudley Downing, representing a lifetime of creation by the Kentucky-born artist. In addition to the works by Downing, the collection also reflects Mr. Baker’s passion for fine and decorative arts in both South-Central Kentucky and abroad.

Address: 4801 Morgantown Rd Bowling Green, KY

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