Parks & Rec. encourages residents to check out dog park

By: Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

Moorestown’s Swede Run Fields Dog Park is into its second spring and attendance is up. This beautiful dog park located on Westfield Road is now equipped with an on-demand stop light for safe crossing. Burlington County put in the crosswalk, light and signs along Westfield Road. The speed limit has been reduced from 50 to 45 mph for increased safety.

Swede Run Fields are a 130-acre designated Open Space that was acquired by the township in 2002. It was formerly the Benner Farm. The dog park is on a 40-acre parcel of Swede Run Fields. The massive maple tree in the driveway, and the old stone shed are remnants of the original farm. The shed is 150 years old and is maintained by the Moorestown Historical Society.  The property is bordered by brush wetlands and floodplains, which provide diverse opportunities for wildlife habitat. There are also 2.5 miles of walking paths that loop the area.

The dog park has two fenced sections – one for dogs under 35 pounds and one for larger dogs.  Dogs and owners access the park through double gates to prevent animals from running out. The Department of Parks and Recreation provides bags for waste removal and water. They only ask that whatever you bring in – tennis balls, frisbees, water bowls – you take when leaving.  If your dog is a digger, please fill in the hole when he’s done. The park hours are from sunrise to sunset. Visiting after dark is forbidden and disruptive for people that live in the surrounding area.

Liz Hepp and her dog Chloe have been coming to the park since it opened.

“It’s become very popular, especially when it’s a nice day,” Hepp said. “It’s a great way to meet other dog lovers, and the dogs get to socialize with each other. It’s super fun, and there are places to sit, covered and uncovered, while the dogs are running around.”

The AMP (Alternative Meeting Place) Rotary Club has also been a supporter of the dog park since the beginning.  They were there on opening day and “adopted” the park. Their annual spring “clean up” took place on Tuesday, May 7. They did a general trash pickup and laid down mulch, which was provided by the township.

So come out and enjoy this beautiful park with or without your canine friends and take in the beauty of one of the Moorestown’s historic farming sites.