The name Mattapan was originally used by Native Americans to refer to the greater Dorchester area. What is now known as Mattapan is a smaller part of this area. The neighborhood is primarily residential, hosting a mix of triple deckers, single-family homes, and apartments. Recent development at the site of the old Boston State Hospital has begun to lower the high level of poverty in the area. The Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which stands where the hospital once was, offers green spaces, community gardens, and trails. The sanctuary is home to hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. Also at the site of the former hospital is the recently developed Olmsted Green, a planned neighborhood of townhouses, senior housing, and apartments.
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