Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Two adults and children decorating pumpkins at a picnic table

Located just outside of downtown Boston, on the former grounds of the Boston State Hospital, the Boston Nature Center (BNC) 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.

Location: 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am–5pm • Saturdays, Sundays, & most holidays, 10am–4pm
Trails: Daily, dawn to dusk

More information, property regulations, and directions >

Fall in Love with Nature

Fall in Love with Nature

Carve a pumpkin, take a nature walk, or explore the changing seasons this autumn at the BNC. Browse programs >

Online Programs - Promo for All Sancs

Online Programs

Hummingbird © Eduardo del Solar
© Eduardo del Solar

Explore nature with us online, from summer night sounds to annual migrations. 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

BNC's Net Zero Event Ribbon Cutting

Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Five months ago, Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center (BNC) in Mattapan broke ground on an ambitious project to become carbon neutral by 2022. So, it is especially fitting that on Earth Day Friday, April 22, members of the BNC community, supporters, civic leaders, and Mass Audubon staff gathered at the 67-acre wildlife sanctuary for a ribbon-cutting to officially announce it has achieved net-zero energy status.

More News

Upcoming Programs

December 11, 2022 (Sunday) 8:00-10:00am
Join a BNC Teacher Naturalist for some winter bird explorations! Read more
December 17, 2022 (Saturday) 8:00-10:00am
Join a BNC Teacher Naturalist for some winter bird explorations! Read more
View Full Schedule