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

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 >

Upcoming Programs

April 17, 2021 (Saturday) 1:00-4:30pm
Join us for a family-friendly Earth Day celebration at the Boston Nature Center! Together we'll create environmentally friendl... Learn More >
April 28, 2021 (Wednesday) 9:30-11:30am
Join a BNC Teacher Naturalist every Wednesday to hike the trails, investigate the spring world and run around during fun natur... Learn More >
April 29, 2021 (Thursday) 2:30-4:30pm
Sliding Scale Fee Available! Get outdoors, explore nature, and have fun with friends! Take time away from screens and explore... Learn More >
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