Off Westfield Road in Moorestown, a white path of virgin concrete curves through an open field and then back, it seems, to nowhere.
But within this seeming blankness, a parking area will soon appear, a pavilion will arise, gated chain-link fences will enclose new grass, and for $353,619, the dogs of Moorestown will have a place to run, jump, make friends, and do whatever else dogs do outdoors.
The township is creating the three-acre canine park within its 39-acre tract of trails and farmland known as Swede Run Fields.
For many years, "residents came to the parks and rec advisory committee asking for a dog park," Theresa Miller, the township's director of parks and recreation, said Thursday.
As a result, she said, the township council authorized her last year to apply to Burlington County for an open space development grant, and received $250,000, the maximum the county awards each year. The township is footing the difference, she said.
An appreciation for dogs, their masters, and their mutual well-being was an important element in the decision, said Miller, but there was a practical element as well.
"A lot of people were letting their dogs run in the enclosed athletic fields," she said, with a slight wrinkle of her nose.
Site grading is done, as is about half of the parking lot borders and concrete paths.
The park will be flanked by a small, 150-year-old stone barn that has been maintained by the local historical society since the township acquired Swede Run in 2001.
And the new concrete path that curves back on itself does so to surround what Miller called a "magnificent" maple tree that will be the park's visual "centerpiece," at least for humans.
Four-legged visitors might be more enchanted by the two enclosed runs. The run for large dogs will be nine-tenths of an acre, and for small dogs six-tenths of an acre. Both will contain low risers that animals may scramble up and jump off.
The park will also include picnic tables under the pavilion roof, a kiosk with a large map of the park, and signs explaining park rules, water fountains for both species, a dog-waste disposal area, and a portable toilet.
It will open in late spring or early summer, Miller expects, when the new grass is established.
The site will not be staffed, and while intended for Moorestown residents, "no one will be asked to prove that they are," said Miller. It will be open from dawn to dusk.
This project's $250,000 open space grant - issued in 2015 with a mandatory completion date of 2017 - is just the latest the town has received from the county in recent years.
In 2014 Moorestown got $250,000 for a hockey rink at Wesley Bishop Park. In 2013 it received $125,000 for improvements to the running track at Memorial Field, $250,000 in 2012 for lighting at three municipal parks, and $250,000 in 2011 for a baseball field and play area at Frank Fullerton Park.
"We've done very well," Miller said.
Popular support for a dog run came in the form of personal pleas before the parks and recreation advisory committee, and also in letters.
Typical was one, she said, from a resident dated September 2015. "Swede's Run is a beautiful natural area and is a great location for a dog run," wrote M. Jean Mancini, and its "beautiful wildlife" is "good for the soul."
"The trails are wide and the stream affords dogs a place to run and frolic in water, which is quite a treat," she continued.
"A dog park provides a safe area for dogs to run, exercise and socialize with other dogs. And dog owners can gather to talk about their dogs, which is something we love to do."