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)

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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 >

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 20, 2021 (Saturday) 7:00-9:00am
Join us to observe resident birds and spring migrants in a unique urban habitat that is a favorite stomping ground for many bi... Learn More >
March 21, 2021 (Sunday) 1:00-2:30pm
Get away from the screen and into nature for a stroll among the trees in Dorchester Park. Experience first-hand the mind and b... Learn More >
March 24, 2021 (Wednesday) 6:30-7:30pm
Join us for BNC's Bird-a-thon kick-off meeting to welcome and provide information to new and past participants. Learn more abo... Learn More >
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