By Liam Martin

MATTAPAN (CBS) – Mattapan was originally settled by the Neponset tribe of Native Americans. The name they gave it translates roughly to “good place to be.” Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center, 67 acres situated in Mattapan along the American Legion Highway, certainly fits the bill.

“We are here to study nature and learn in nature and play,” said Chelsea Gutierrez, one of the preschool teachers at this treasure – a chance for inner-city kids to get into nature, especially after a year of quarantine. “The kids look at us like, ‘Can I climb this tree?’ And we’re just there cheering them on. So they definitely get to be a kid and get to explore.”

The Boston Nature Center offers those experiences to a range of kids and throughout the school year and summer.

“It’s an opportunity to run,” said Claire Harris, the preschool director. “They can run and be free and enjoy the natural world.”

It’s also open year-round to the general public.

The kids here learn about birds, trees, bees and weeds – just about everything having to do with nature.

At the Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center kids explore the natural world. (WBZ-TV)

But what they love most about the programs is pretty obvious.

“Playing,” 5-year-old Kingston told WBZ-TV.

Most kids had the same answer.

And all that playing has an aim for Mass Audubon and the parents who sign their kids up.

“The ultimate goal for us is that they become life-long stewards of the natural environment,” said Harris.

You can learn more about the Boston Nature Center or sign your kids up for the programs on the Mass Audubon website.