Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Preschoolers exploring in winter 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

Plan your visit >

Early Explorers

Early Explorers

Move, learn, and create with your little one every Wednesday and Thursday! See schedule >

Winter Activities

Winter Wonders

Fox Sparrow in winter at Boston Nature Center
Fox Sparrow

Find winter birds, take a nature walk, or explore by snowshoe! Browse programs >

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

February 28, 2020 (Friday) 10:30am - 12:00pm
Experience the natural world through the eyes of an artist. Join the BNC for a morning of stories, followed by natural explora... Learn More >
March 1, 2020 (Sunday) 9:00am - 10:00am
Listen to a nature-themed story and then join our Teacher Naturalist for a short walk outside. We will walk the trails to lear... Learn More >
March 1, 2020 (Sunday) 10:30am - 12:00pm
This is a wonderful time to observe and appreciate the birds that call Boston home. Birds are returning, such as pine warblers... Learn More >
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