Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Kids exploring the Nature Play Area at 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. 

Location500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: 617-983-8500
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am-5 pm • Saturday, Sunday & Monday holidays, 10 am-4 pm • Trails open daily, dawn to dusk

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Support Your Sanctuary

Support Your Sanctuary

Closeup of a heart-shaped fall leaf © Andrew McManus
© Andrew McManus

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

Explore Nature at Home

Explore Nature at Home

Eastern Chipmunk with an acorn © Justin Miel
Eastern Chipmunk © Justin Miel

You don't need to look far to discover the amazing wonders of nature. Start here >

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 >

Facility & Event Rentals (text only)

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Host an Event at BNC

We offer a unique and natural setting for birthday parties, social events, & more! Get the details >

Sanctuary News & Events

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Upcoming Programs

September 19, 2020 (Saturday) 1:30pm - 4:30pm
The Boston Food Forest Coalition's popular Applied Permaculture Series is back! The 2020 season runs from February through Nov... Learn More >
October 17, 2020 (Saturday) 9:00am - 12:30pm
The Boston Food Forest Coalition's popular Applied Permaculture Series is back! The 2020 season runs from February through Nov... Learn More >
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