The third quarter to be released in 2014 for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the Arches National Park quarter’s official launch will be 9 a.m. Friday, June 6 at the Arches National Park Visitor Center.
The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program began in 2010 and is scheduled to run through 2021. During this time, the U.S. Mint will release five new quarters each year in honor of 56 national parks or other national sites in the United States and U.S. Territories. The coins are released in order of establishment dates for the parks or sites. The Arches National Park quarter is the 23rd coin to be released in the program.
In a press release from the National Park Service, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the quarters released during the America the Beautiful program will highlight how much Americans value the national parks.
“When people come across one of these quarters, they will see the word ’Liberty’ on one side and a national park, refuge, or forest on the other,” he said. “They will know that Americans cherish these things dearly and desire to share both the freedom and the beauty of our land with all who likewise cherish them.”
The national parks quarters being released for 2014 include Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, Arches National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Everglades National Park.
The quarters are considered legal tender and will be available in general circulation, just like the quarters released during the 50 States Quarters program that ran from 1997 to 2008.
In deciding which 56 parks to honor, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner met with governors from each of the 50 states and created a list of suggested sites. The sites were approved by U.S. Mint and a final list was created from these suggestions and approved by Geithner. Arches National Park was chosen as the site for Utah.
Each quarter will have a unique design on the tail side of the quarter and the traditional 1932 John Flannagan image of George Washington on the head side. The Arches National Park quarter features Delicate Arch, and was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Charles L. Vickers.
“We are honored that Arches National Park was selected for this program, and excited that its Delicate Arch design will help people connect or reconnect with the beauty and wonder of one of America’s most iconic Utah landscapes,” said Mary Wilson, Arches National Park’s Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services.
Wilson said the coin launch will not only create awareness of Arches National Park, but of public lands in southern Utah.
“Hopefully, this will create a greater awareness and understanding of how beautiful and unique the southern Utah landscape, including Arches National Park and surrounding public lands, truly is, and that it is worthy of our respect and protection,” she said.
At the coin launch ceremony will be guests Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox and Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison. After the ceremony, there will be a coin exchange. The public can trade in cash for $10 rolls of the new Arches National Park quarter. There is a $100 maximum. The coins will not be released into general circulation until Monday, June 9.
There will also be a special coin forum the night before the event at Zions Bank, 330 S. Main St. The coin forum, hosted by the U.S. Mint, is an opportunity for the public to express their views about future coinage and learn about upcoming U.S. Mint coin programs and initiatives. The public is invited to attend this event. It will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 5 in the Community Room.
Because of the quarter launch ceremony, access to the Arches Visitor Center on Friday morning will be restricted to only allow individuals to pick up Fiery Furnace tickets and permits. The park’s rangers are encouraging those individuals to pick up their tickets and permits the day before to avoid the crowds from the launch.
The Visitor Center parking lot is expected to be filled quickly. A shuttle will be available to transport visitors to and from the event. The shuttle will depart from Helen M. Knight Elementary School, 505 N. MiVida Dr, beginning at 7:15 a.m., with the final shuttle departing from the school at 8:15 a.m.
The quarter launch ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the Arches Visitor Center, located north of Moab along U.S. Highway 191.
“We are honored that Arches National Park was selected for this program, and excited that its Delicate Arch design will help people connect or reconnect with the beauty and wonder of one of America’s most iconic Utah landscapes.”
What: Arches National Park quarter launch ceremony
When: Friday, June 6 at 9 a.m.
Where: Arches Visitor Center; shuttles to event available for Helen M. Knight Elementary School parking lot
Coin is 23rd of 56 in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program