About Us

The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is a 100-acre public garden located on the campus of the University of Kentucky in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. We receive over 200,000 visitors annually who can enjoy and learn about our three main features, the Walk Across Kentucky, the Horticultural Gardens, and the Kentucky Children's Garden. The Walk Across Kentucky is a two-mile paved loop featuring wild-collected native plants from the seven physiographic regions of Kentucky. The Horticultural Gardens include the Home Demonstration Garden, the Perennial Teaching Garden, the Fragrance Garden and the Flight 5191 Memorial Rose Garden. The Kentucky Children’s Garden is a place for children and their families to connect with and learn about plants and the environment. We proudly offer educational programming and tours to help connect people to our gardens.

Our Mission

Our mission is “to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research and conservation.”

Our History and Future

The Arboretum began in 1991 as a joint effort between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. In March 2000, The Arboretum was named the “Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky”.

Strategic Plan Information

Winter 2018 Newsletter & 2016-2017 Annual Report
Strategic Plan 2013 - 2018
Strategic Plan Supplement 2013-2018

Arboretum Final Action Plan Committee Report (October 2019)

Long-Range Planning and Needs

Long-range plans include continued development of the Walk Across Kentucky and development of the Kentucky Children’s Garden.


Through your support, The Arboretum will have an opportunity to continue to grow and meet the needs and interests of visitors of all ages. Keeping our gardens beautiful, fresh and exciting takes tremendous effort and we couldn't do it without your help!

The Aboretum accepts monetary donations of all sizes and can be earmarked for: The Campaign (Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center Expansion); Greatest Need; Oatts Endowment fund, Horticulture Gardens and Displays; Rose Gardens; Walk Across Kentucky; or the Kentucky Children's Garden. For instructions on how to donate online CLICK HERE.

If you are interested in helping us grow, please contact Molly Davis at molly.davis1@uky.edu.

The Arboretum