Initially inhabited by the Native American Mattahunt Tribe, the name Mattapan translates to “a good place to be" or "a good place to sit" due to the Neponset River that meanders through this Boston neighborhood.
Today Mattapan’s population is largely African Americans and immigrants from the Caribbean. Predominantly residential with its fair share of triple-deckers, green space is still plentiful. A crown jewel of Frederick Law Olmstead’s Emerald Necklace is the 72-acre Franklin Park Zoo home to lions and tigers and bears (only kidding - no bears) is shared by Mattapan and the Dorchester neighborhood. Mattapan also boasts the 67-acre Boston Nature Center and Wild Life Sanctuary with over 150 species of bird, 40 butterfly species and more than 350 species of plants and a National Register rural garden property, the Forest Hills Cemetery.