Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Boy with binoculars on a trail in early winter 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. 

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

Plan your visit >

Hike-a-thon sanctuary promo

Hike-a-thon • November 27-29

Let's get as many people as possible outside after Thanksgiving! Participate from anywhereJoin us >

Support Your Sanctuary

Support Your Sanctuary

Closeup of a heart-shaped fall leaf © Andrew McManus
© Andrew McManus

During these challenging times, your support is more critical than ever. Donate today >

Sanctuary News & Events

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Upcoming Programs

December 10, 2020 (Thursday) 4:00-5:00pm
During this virtual program you will meet the reptiles that live at the BNC: Sammy (eastern corn snake), Patty (bearded dragon... Learn More >
December 19, 2020 (Saturday) 1:00-3:00pm
Not all mushrooms go south for the winter. Join acclaimed mycologist Lawrence Millman to find out about the mushrooms you can... Learn More >
January 30, 2021 (Saturday) 1:00-3:00pm
Not all mushrooms go south for the winter. Join acclaimed mycologist Lawrence Millman to find out about the mushrooms you can... Learn More >
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