The Doran Arboretum

The Doran Arboretum

The Doran Arboretum at Murray State University is a public educational display garden located on the Pullen Farm at Murray State and a favorite destination for people of all ages.

Come take a stroll, go for a run, or walk your leashed dog on our 0.8 mile long track (bicycles are not allowed). Wander through our student-maintained gardens and view our ever growing collections of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Check out the view of the 40+ acre Pullen Farm from on top of the "Mountain." See how many butterflies you can spot on our Butterfly Garden next to the pond while you play on our Butterfly themed Play Pocket.

The Doran Arboretum is open daily from dawn until dusk.

Get directions to the Doran Arboretum at 300 Hickory Drive, Murray, KY

Events at the Doran Arboretum

The Doran Arboretum is a great place for weddings, outdoor parties, showers, receptions, and a beautiful back drop for photos. We have a large pavilion or smaller pavilions available to rent for your next party, shower, or reception. Friends of the Doran Arboretum receive a discounted rate for event rentals, including one free event rental per year.

Rental agreements

Event rental agreement

scenic view of the Doran Arboretum pond and fountain

Support the Doran Arboretum

Become a Friend of the Doran Arboretum to help support and expand our gardens and collections, encourage educational and recreational use, and provide financial support for the day-to-day operation of The Doran Arboretum.

Memberships run each year from July 1 – June 30. 

Gifts are vital to the growth of the Doran Arboretum at Murray State University. You can make a gift online or contact Abby Hensley, Director of Development at 270.809.3131 or email

make a gift online

Join the Friends of the Doran Arboretum to stimulate interest in the Doran Arboretum, encourage educational and recreational use, and provide financial support for the day-to-day operation of the Doran Arboretum.  We depend upon memberships and gifts for most of our operating expenditures.  

Membership Levels

  • General $35
  • Clubs/Organizations $100
  • Pullen Society $1,000-$3,999
  • Hickory Society $4,000 - Up

Gardens and Collections

Throughout the area of the Doran Arboretum you will find collections of both introduced and local woody plants, annuals, and perennials, of historic significance to the western Kentucky region. They will be laid out in five distinct and vibrant areas, plus display and community gardens:

  • Display and Community Gardens
  • Open Woodlands
  • Savanna
  • Sensory Garden
  • Oak/Hickory Forest
  • Wetlands

Goals and Mission for the Doran Arboretum

The mission of the Doran Arboretum is to provide and display a collection of both local and introduced plants, with an emphasis on native trees, shrubs and flowers of historic significance to the western Kentucky region. More than 13 acres are dedicated to this living-learning laboratory situated on the Pullen Farm at Murray State University. Murray State University and the Hutson School of Agriculture manage the operations and offerings at the Doran Arboretum.

The Doran Arboretum is wonderful place to visit anytime. At the Doran Arboretum, we believe that plants are the basis of all life on Earth, as well as a basis of spiritual and emotional well-being. The Doran Arboretum at Murray State University will build upon your love for nature and sanctuary, stewardship of the natural world, and the need to nurture environmental learning, we will:

  • Curate, expand and maintain a living dynamic collection of imported and native plants
  • Display the highest standards of horticultural science and landscape engineering
  • Develop policies and guidelines for appropriate, equitable and efficient use and to generate adequate resources for sustainability
  • Become a recognized leader in education, research, and literacy in natural and urban horticulture
  • Create an atmosphere of excitement, enthusiasm and interest to attract and teach community members
  • Provide opportunities for visitors to understand and embrace the importance of conservation and stewardship
  • Assemble an integrated team that embraces life-long learning, shares expertise and knowledge and is committed to the use of Doran Arboretum ground s and facilities to further its mission

Board of Directors

  • Paul Rister, Chairman
  • Allen Besand, Vice Chairman
  • Robert Johnson, Secretary
  • Denham Rogers, Membership
  • Christian Barnes, Member-At-Large
  • Barbara Brittain, Member-At-Large
  • Paula Edwards, Member-At-Large
  • Bonnie Higginson, Member-At-Large
  • Kolley Hildenbrand, Member-At-Large
  • Phil McCallon, Member-At-Large
  • Mary Tripp Reed, Member-At-Large
  • Anita Thomas, Member-At-Large
  • Laura Webb, Member-At-Large
  • Jeremy York, Member-At-Large
  • Pam Chesser, Member-At-Large
  • Donna Bethel, Member-At-Large

Questions or comments?

Please feel free to contact us at anytime at or call us at 270.809.3841


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