About Boston Nature Center

Field at sunset at the Boston Nature Center

Located just outside of downtown Boston on the former grounds of the Boston State Hospital, the Boston Nature Center (BNC) is a community-based urban sanctuary. Trails and boardwalks traverse meadows and wetlands, home to over 150 species of birds, 40 species of butterflies, and more than 350 species of plants. Year-round programs help foster an appreciation for nature and the environment.




2 miles (universally accessible: 1 mile) Details >

Sanctuary Highlights

  • Programs offered at affordable rates through sliding scales and free admission.
  • George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center, the first “green” municipal building in Boston, exhibits environmentally sustainable building design.
  • The Nature Nook, a natural play space, engages children of all ages in discovering the natural world through free play.
  • Clark-Cooper Community Gardens, one of Boston’s oldest and largest, provides food and a green oasis for 260 local families.
  • Ongoing environmental education programs in Boston Public Schools.


500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
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Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm; Saturday, Sunday, & Monday holidays 10 am-4 pm


Free, donations appreciated


Learn more about Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and its urban environmental education programs