As the Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, The City of Homestead was honored to once again partner with Everglades National Park to collaborate on an historic event. On the morning of December 4, residents and visitors turned out in droves for the launch of the new Everglades coin as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program from the United States Mint.
In addition to the hundreds of residents and visitors, more than 600 children from 10 schools waited excitedly for the official launch of the new quarter, which features a design inspired by the diverse wading bird population of the Everglades. The quarter depicts an anhinga with outstretched wings on a willow tree with a roseate spoonbill visible in the mid-ground. Both birds are found throughout Everglades National Park and are a big reason why more than a one million people visit the park each year.
“The launch of the beautiful Everglades Quarter is yet another example of why Everglades National Park is so important to Homestead. As both a national and international treasure, it is one of the many reasons visitors come to our city each year,” said Homestead Vice-Mayor Stephen Shelley, who spearheaded the launch event. “Homestead’s close partnership with the nearby National Parks is a huge economic boon to our city.”
In 2010, the United States Mint began issuing 56 quarter-dollar coins featuring designs depicting national parks and other national sites as part of the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. Each year, the public will see five new national site designs depicted on the reverse (tails side) of the America the Beautiful Quarters®. The United States Mint will issue these quarters in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site. The Everglades National Park quarter is the fifth of 2014, the 25th overall, and the only Florida site in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile and elusive Florida panther. It is also designated as a world heritage site, international biosphere reserve and wetland of international importance. It was first established as a national site on May 30, 1934.