On December 4, 2014, the United States Mint and the National Park Service held the official launch ceremony for the Everglades National Park Quarter. This represents the twenty-fifth release within the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which honors a national park or site in each of the 50 states, the five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
The reverse design of the coin was inspired by the bird population in the Everglades and features two birds found throughout the park. An anhinga with outstretched wings appears on a willow tree with a roseate spoonbill visible within the mid-ground. The inscriptions read “Everglades”, “Florida”, “2014”, and “E Pluribus Unum”. The obverse of the coin features the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.
In remarks delivered during the launch ceremony, United States Mint Chief Administrative Officer Beverly Ortega Babers said, “A vast mosaic of habitats that protects a thousand plant and bird species, Everglades National Park is the perfect choice to represent Florida in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.”
Other special guests at the ceremony included Everglades National Park Acting Superintendent Bob Krumenaker; Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and Vice-Mayor Stephen R. Shelley; and Inside Homestead host Josh Padgett. More than 1,000 people attended the event, including 700 schoolchildren. A coin exchange was also held where attendees were able to exchange currency for rolls of the new quarters. A total of $21,000 in quarters was exchanged.
The Everglades National Park Quarters were officially released into circulation by the Federal Reserve on November 3, 2014. On the same date, the United States Mint began accepting orders for numismatic bags and rolls containing circulating quality examples of the coins from the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mint facilities.
The America the Beautiful Quarters scheduled to be released in the coming year will feature Homestead National Monument of America, Kisatchie National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and Saratoga National Historical Park.
United States Mint photos by Share McPike.