Published on January 24, 2020

Change is Coming Near BNC

Get the latest updates regarding the proposed real estate development near the BNC's boundary, on 10 acres of the former Boston State Hospital site.

If you have any questions, please connect with Julie Brandlen by email or by calling 617-983-8500 x6901. Thank you again for your commitment to BNC. We are a stronger community with your involvement.


January 24, 2020

This is an update to our earlier notices regarding real estate development near the BNC's boundary.

There are 10 acres of the former Boston State Hospital that remain to be developed adjacent to BNC. The property is owned by the state of Massachusetts and administered by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). The Boston State Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of local residents, is tasked with making recommendations as to the use of the final parcel.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued by DCAMM on May 22, 2019. Six developers submitted proposals for DCAMM and CAC review. Those developers' proposals will be presented at two public meetings—one on Tuesday, February 4, and the other on Thursday, February 6—from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Brooke High School Auditorium (200 American Legion Highway, Boston, MA 02124). You can view the DCAMM Public Meeting Details webpage for the schedule, deadline for written comments, and more information.

BNC will continue to be involved in this public process. We are looking forward to learning more about these proposals and will be carefully reviewing each of them.


November 28, 2019

This is an update to our earlier notices regarding real estate development near the BNC's boundary.

The Boston State Hospital Site, home to the Boston Nature Center, was developed according to a Master Plan put into effect in 1995. Of the original ~175 acres, 10 acres of the parcel remain to be developed. The property is owned by the state of Massachusetts and administered by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). The Boston State Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of local residents, is tasked with making recommendations as to the use of the final parcel.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued by DCAMM on May 22, 2019, with a deadline for submissions on October 15, 2019. At the CAC's meeting on October 17, it was reported that six developers had submitted proposals for DCAMM and CAC review.

After careful review and consideration and given the financial and other RFP requirements, Mass Audubon's leadership and Boston Nature Center's Sanctuary Committee have determined that we will not be submitting a proposal in response to the RFP. We have, however, been in contact with DCAMM, the CAC, and potential developers to communicate our serious concerns related to stormwater management mitigation as it relates to the development of the site. In addition, we have encouraged developers to retain a vegetated buffer at the BNC boundary and to explore opportunities for enhanced access to the BNC though a multi-modal path leading from Harvard Street to BNC.

We will continue to be involved in this public process. We anticipate involving stormwater specialists to assist us in the City of Boston's Article 80 review process to ensure that the selected developer incorporates best stormwater practices in protection of our boundaries.


September 1, 2018

This is an update to our earlier notice in August regarding real estate development near the BNC’s boundary.

The Boston State Hospital Site, home to the Boston Nature Center, was developed according to a Master Plan put into effect in 1995. Of the original ~175 acres, fourteen acres of the parcel remain to be developed. The property is owned by the state of Massachusetts and administered by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). The Boston State Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of local residents, is also very involved in making recommendations as to the use of the final parcel. A Request for Proposal (RFP) is expected in the near future. This will set the price of the land and the parameters for development.

BNC is aware of only three interested parties including UMASS Biologics, which is seeking to expand its existing campus. Our primary concern is protecting the BNC as a valuable resource to the City and ensuring effective stormwater management. We are concerned that construction so close to the BNC may result in increased flooding that already threatens the sanctuary property.

We have discussed the possibility of purchasing a small part of the parcel (maybe three acres) to be used for our burgeoning camp and preschool activities and to provide some protection from the new development. However, no final decisions can be made until the RFP is released. We will keep you informed, and we may ask for your support on any future plans concerning the BNC.

For more information, visit the COMMBUYS Open Bids webpage, select Land and Buildings and Structures and Thoroughfares from the "Show Bids for Category" drop-down, and then click the "Go" button next to the drop-down. This will list the latest bids released by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


August 23, 2018

As summer draws to a close, we wanted to let you know about some recent news. In addition to all the real estate development occurring in our neighborhoods, there is also change coming at the boundaries of the Boston Nature Center.

There are approximately 14 acres of land remaining from the Boston State Hospital that are located right next to the BNC’s parking lot. The Boston State Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee—the community group working with the State that is responsible for the transfer of this land—has informed us that they are preparing a Request For Proposal (RFP) process to gather bids for the land from developers.

The RFP could be released this fall, but we don’t know exactly when.

To protect the valuable resources at the BNC, Mass Audubon plans to submit a bid to purchase approximately three acres of this land. This purchase would also help lessen the problems with stormwater that the sanctuary is already experiencing.

We will provide you with more information as it becomes available.