Everglades National Park is the one national site in Florida to be portrayed on the reverse side of a newly minted United States quarter, and the public is invited to its ceremonial release Thursday in Homestead.
The America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 requires the U.S. Mint to design, mint and issue quarter-dollar coins emblematic of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.
National sites in each state are nominated by the governor, and chosen sites are deemed the most appropriate in terms of natural and historic significance. The coin's design was reviewed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Gov. Rick Scott, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Taking all of the feedback into consideration, the Treasurer secretary designee, Deputy Secretary Wolin, selected the final design in May.
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Under the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the mint launches five new quarters each year in the order in which each honored national park or other national site was established, with one final coin in 2021.
The Everglades National Park quarter launch on Thursday will also commemorate the anniversary of Dec. 6, 1947, when Congress set aside 1.5 million acres of land to be protected as Everglades National Park.
The launch is at 10 a.m. and sponsored by the mint and Everglades National Park and hosted by the park's gateway community, Homestead.
It takes place at the Harris Field Park Pavilion, U.S. 1 and SW 312th Street/Campbell Dr. Homestead. The Community Bank of Florida will conduct a coin exchange immediately following, at 10:30, where the public will be able to purchase the quarters for the first time (one-roll ($10) minimum, 10-roll ($100) maximum).
Hundreds of people, including many dignitaries, are expected to attend.
The mint will also host a coin forum from 6:30 to 7:30 Wednesday night at the Everglades National Park Visitor Center (auditorium), 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead. Mint staff will briefly describe their products and programs to coin enthusiasts, followed by a question-and-answer period about the United States Mint and its programs.