LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas has awarded the Little Rock Zoo a grant for $144,000 to fund a nature play sensory garden and trail project.

This project will update the current Kiwanis Playground into a sensory garden and play area that invites children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to play.

The garden will include musical components and other sensory elements. Nature play gardens encourage guests to touch, taste, smell, listen, admire and play in a variety of ways using a combination of natural plants and artificial play structures.

The grant also includes funding for education staff at the site, outdoor instruments and landscape architecture for the areas that allow for plants for touching, smelling and beautification. The grant also includes two additional sensory trail markers to be placed in the Zoo to guide guests to other areas that have similar elements.

The original play area was sponsored by the Pulaski Heights Kiwanis Club more than 15 years ago. The club has also pledged to continue their partnership with the zoo on the project.

The check presentation is Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. Visual representations of the new zoo sensory garden will be released.