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 • Restrooms open Mon-Fri 9am–5pm, Sat & Sun 10am–4pm

Plan your visit >

Nature Play Days - LP promo for sanctuaries

Nature Play Days

Find seasonal nature play ideas & activities to help everyone get outside! Time for fun >

Online Programs - LP promo for sanctuaries

Online Programs

Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly male © Kim Nagy
Eastern Pondhawk © Kim Nagy

Explore the nature of summer online, from beautiful insects to amazing birds. Coming up next >

Healing Landscape

A Healing Landscape cover

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 >

Sanctuary News & Events

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Upcoming Programs

September 23, 2021 (Thursday) 10:30am-12:00pm
Join a BNC Teacher Naturalist every Thursday to explore, learn and play. Use your senses to explore the natural world! This pr... Read more
September 24, 2021 (Friday) 9:30-11:30am
Join a BNC Teacher Naturalist every Friday to explore, learn and play. Each Friday, we will learn about the animals that walk... Read more
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