Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Two children explore the Nature Play Area at 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. 

Location500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: 617-983-8500
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am-5 pm; Saturday, Sunday & Monday holidays, 10 am-4 pm; Trails open daily, dawn to dusk

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Nature Preschool

Nature Preschool

Preschoolers exploring at the Boston Nature Center

Our Pathways to Nature preschool provides a high-quality, hands-on nature program for children ages 3–6. Enroll Today >

Facility & Event Rentals

Host an Event at BNC

BNC Spring Swing outdoor event

We offer a unique and natural setting for birthday parties, social events, meetings, & public programs! Get the Details >

Climate Action

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Climate Action

BNC is doing its part to combat the effects of climate change through green technology.

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Support Our Work

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Support Our Work

We rely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our conservation and education work.

Ways to Help >

Sanctuary News & Events

Barn Owl for Birds & Brew 2019

Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Special Event June 7, 2019

Don't miss this summer night of craft beer tastings, encounters with live birds, hearty appetizers, live music, and more! Tickets on sale now. (This is a 21+ event; valid ID required.)

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Upcoming Programs

May 25, 2019 (Saturday) 10:30am - 12:00pm
With the help of young outdoor enthusiasts! Join the BNC to prepare our vegetable and sensory garden for the growing season. W... Learn More >
May 25, 2019 (Saturday) 1:00pm - 2:30pm
The forest can provide wonderful spring treats, but we need to know what to look for, and how to harvest safely and responsibl... Learn More >
May 26, 2019 (Sunday) 10:30am - 12:00pm
Come join the BNC as we prep our gardens for the upcoming season. We will work in the plots in the Clark-Cooper Community Gard... Learn More >
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