The U.S. Mint will be issuing a new series of quarters featuring the country’s national parks and forests starting April 19 this year. The last 50-state quarter program generated an enormous interest, with nearly half of the country participating in the coin collection, according to US Mint surveys. Mint Director Ed Moy recently told the San Francisco Chronicle: “We think we are generating a lot of excitement with the new program,” which is one of the series of America the Beautiful Quarters. If past enthusiasm is repeated in the collection of the new quarters, it could well prompt a renewed wonder from the public wanting to travel to see those beautiful lands featured in their collected coins.
The new program will have fifty six coins in all, honoring national parks and sites in each of the fifty states, five American territories, and the District of Columbia. Five new designs will be issued each year starting this year and the program will end in 2012 with the last quarter honoring the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, which was created by Congress in 1998. The new quarters introduced will be ordered chronologically, according to when the areas first came under federal protection.
The five coins released this year feature the four oldest national parks and a national forest. First established as a national site in 1832, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas will be the first to be featured overall. The Hot Springs coin is scheduled to go into circulation on April 19, followed by the Yellowstone coin in June, the Yosemite coin in July, the Grand Canyon coin in September, and the Mount Hood coin in November, which features the national forests in Oregon.
The site design will appear on the tails side of the coin. Each coin has the name of the park and state being honored, the year the coin being issued, and the U.S. motto “E Pluribus Unum” (our of many, one), all surrounding and image of the site itself. The heads side continues to feature a profile of George Washington, just like the 50-state coins.
Arkansas’ Hot Springs coin image depicts the façade of the Hot Springs National Park headquarters building with a fountain in the foreground. Wyoming’s Yellowstone coin image features the Old Faithful geyser with a mature bull bison in the foreground. California’s Yosemite coin depicts the iconic El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is the largest monolith of granite in the world. Arizona’s Grand Canyon coin features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon near the Colorado River. And finally, Oregon’s Mount Hood coin depicts a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground.
[image: Google Image]