Parks and Open Space

Visit us today!

Our mission is to educate our community, to inspire conservation, and demonstrate how both native and non-native flora and fauna can survive in an arid, high desert environment. Over 4,000 native and adaptive plant species are on display within the gardens. Visit during the spring and summer to see the flowers come alive and put on a dazzling display, or in the fall as the trees show their true colors. Take your time and explore; like a museum’s rotating exhibits, changing seasons mean no two visits to the Arboretum are the same. 

HOURS OF OPERATION: 

The Arboretum & Botanical Garden is open year-round during regular park hours.

Spring/Summer:  8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Fall (Day after Labor Day to fall time change): 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Winter (Fall time change to spring time change): 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

COST: FREE
GETTING HERE: We are located within Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno, NV 89503.

Map of the gardens

ACCESSIBILITY:

The May Arboretum grounds are composed of both paved and packed gravel paths. Paved surfaces are usually wheelchair accessible. Gravel paths may be wheelchair accessible when dry, but can become quite muddy if the weather has been wet. In the event of a snow storm, both paved and gravel paths may be temporarily inaccessible to wheelchairs and other modes of mobility. Service dogs are allowed in all areas of Rancho San Rafael, including the May Arboretum.

CONTACT US:

Office phone number (775) 785-4153
Horticulturist: Bill Carlos, M.S., bcarlos@washoecounty.us
Horticulture Assistant: Phil Brazier, ISA Certified Arborist pbrazier@washoecounty.us
Maintenance Worker II: Bradon Franklin, ISA Certified Arborist bradonf777@gmail.com 

GARDEN RULES & ETIQUETTE

  • Stay on the guided paths
  • No pets are allowed in the May Arboretum
  • Do not pick fruits, flowers, or any vegetation
  • Please be courteous of others and do not play music

Photography Policy

Persons may photograph in County parks without a permit providing:

  • Park rules and regulations are complied with at all times
  • Does not interfere with visitor use/enjoyment of the park
  • Professional sets, groups of actors or large equipment is not involved
  • Simple props and/or use of one or two models for non-commercial purposes is permissible
  • Conducted during normal hours the park is open to the public
  • No disturbance or rearrangement of any feature of the park
  • If photography is related to a facility rental there is no charge during the time indicated on the rental permit (e.g. weddings, graduation party, etc.)

A Photography permit is required for:

  • Professional Photography (1-25 people) - e.g. studio/photographer for hire, photography with the intent to sell photos - $25/event   
  • Professional Photography (26 - 100 people) - e.g. studio/photographer for hire, photography with the intent to sell photos - $100/event
  • Commercial Productions - e.g. television, advertisements, movies, documentaries - $200 - $10,000/event

An annual permit is also available for Professional Photography (1-25 people only) - $150/year

If you would like to apply for a Photography Permit please complete an application and hold harmless agreement, provided below.  You can fax them to (775) 829-8014 or email them to reserveparks@washoecounty.us or contact Parks Administration at (775) 823-6500.

 

 ArbNet Level II Certification
  Wilbur D. May Arboretum Logo
American Public Gardens logo
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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »