Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Preschoolers exploring in winter 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

Plan your visit >

Early Explorers

Early Explorers

Move, learn, and create with your little one every Wednesday and Thursday! See schedule >

Winter Activities

Winter Wonders

Fox Sparrow in winter at Boston Nature Center
Fox Sparrow

Find winter birds, take a nature walk, or explore by snowshoe! Browse programs >

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 >

Facility & Event Rentals (text only)

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Host an Event at BNC

We offer a unique and natural setting for birthday parties, social events, & more! Get the details >

Sanctuary News & Events

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Upcoming Programs

May 2, 2020 (Saturday) 10:30am - 12:00pm
Come on down to the BNC and meet our favorite reptile friends: Sammy, Patty, and Finn. What makes them all reptiles? We will l... Learn More >
May 2, 2020 (Saturday) 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Slimy, slow moving, and stealthy - slugs and snails inhabit wonderful hidden habitats at the BNC. What type of creature are th... Learn More >
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