Boston Nature Center

Client: Mass Audubon
Location: Mattapan, MA
Size: 14,000 SF

The Boston Nature Center was designed by studioMLA Architects. It connects children of all ages with the outdoors, the Nature Nook provides nearly one acre of the natural play area. Located just beyond downtown Boston, the Center acts as an urban sanctuary and is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Mass Audubon Society. The Nature Nook is a destination for outdoor play and learning for hundreds of visitors.

The Boston Nature Center was interested in using the Nature Explore framework for incorporating activities into a nature play setting. In line with that vision, studioMLA worked carefully with the staff, contractor, and the site to design a safe, inclusive space that introduces children to natural elements and open-ended play at every turn. Natural discovery experiences include gardening opportunities, a dirt-digging area, sand play area, ornamental grass maze, streambed, boardwalk through native sumac, a fallen tree climbing log, a stage, and a building area with natural materials. The Nature Nook is one of 30 national projects developed through and endorsed by the National Forum on Children and Nature. The Boston Nature Center was completed in 2010.