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. 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 >

Winter Recess - LP promo for sanctuaries

Winter Recess • February 13–28

Boy in winter clothes sliding down snowy hill Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary © Phil Doyle
© Phil Doyle

Celebrate winter statewide with vacation week fun plus activities and programs for all ages! Join the fun >

Support Your Sanctuary

Support Your Sanctuary

Blue Jay eating seeds on a snowy tree stump © Sarah Keates
Blue Jay © Sarah Keates

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

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

Campers playing on hill behind BNC

Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Boston Nature Center Camp will be open for summer 2021 with 11 one-week sessions in Mattapan and 6 one-week sessions at Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury. We have a new registration process, and sign-up is open from February 3-15.

More News

Upcoming Programs

March 5, 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 animal that walk t... Learn More >
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