The Jacksonville Parks & Recreation received the Natural Resources Program of the Year Award for its Youth Fishing Derby and the Therapeutic Recreation Program of the Year Award for its Swimming Lessons through Arkansas Parks and Recreation. The awards were given based on the innovative nature of the program, partnerships within the community, and the community needs it fulfills.

In partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish and other community sponsors, the Youth Fishing Derby was established in 1997 as a way to introduce youth to fishing and as an opportunity for families to spend time together outside. The youth fishing derby is about parents teaching their children how to have fun away from video games and television. The youth fishing derby is a yearly event and families from Jacksonville and other surrounding communities look forward to participating each year.

The Jacksonville Parks and Recreation takes the phrase "swimming lessons for everyone" to heart. Most swim lessons are designed for the average person and not for the special needs person. The Aquatic Program through the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation is unique because it offers swimming lessons for people with special needs. These lessons are taught either privately or in a small group setting depending on the needs of each individual. Swimming lessons are offered year-round and are available to all individuals regardless of physical ability. For more information call (501) 982-0818.