Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Butterfly Garden path & bench at the Boston Nature Center

Located just outside of downtown Boston on the former grounds of the Boston State Hospital, the Boston Nature Center 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. Please leave dogs and other pets at home.

Location500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: 617-983-8500
Hours: Trails open daily, dawn to dusk (no restrooms)

Plan your visit >

Bird-a-thon

Bird-a-thon is Back!

The Boston Sanctuaries Team is in it to win it this year! Sign up or donate today. Join the fun >

Online Programs - LP promo for sanctuaries

Online Programs

Peregrine Falcon flying amidst tall buildings in Boston
Peregrine Falcon in Boston

From fungi to photography to birds, explore the wonders of nature from home! See what's next >

Healing Landscape

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A Healing Landscape

Discover the stories of the people who have lived and worked on our land for 200+ years. Read it > 

Nature Preschool (text only)

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Nature Preschool

At BNC, our Pathways to Nature preschool provides a high-quality nature program for children ages 3–6. Learn more >

Upcoming Programs

May 15, 2021 (Saturday) 10:30am-12:00pm
Raccoons are highly adaptable and often misunderstood animals that flourish around humans. Opossums are one of the few mammals... Learn More >
May 15, 2021 (Saturday) 1:00-2:30pm
Get away from the screen and into nature for a stroll among the trees in Dorchester Park. Experience first-hand the mind and b... Learn More >
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