31st America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin celebrates the unique natural heritage of Illinois
The quarter’s reverse depicts a close view of Camel Rock with natural vegetation in the foreground and a red-tailed hawk soaring in the sky overhead.
“Not only is the Shawnee National Forest quarter the 31st coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program–and the first quarter to be introduced into circulation in 2016–it also is the fifth and last national forest to be honored in the program,” said Dean Bidle, program manager for Numismatic Packaging Planning at the United States Mint. “Millions of Americans will now have a reminder of the beauty of Southern Illinois through a quarter designed in the national forest’s honor.”
More than 300 local school-aged children and dignitaries assembled at the Southeastern Illinois College Deaton Gymnasium for the ceremony.
Guest speakers included:
- U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell;
- Shawnee National Forest Supervisor Allen Nicholas;
- Deb Detmers, district director for U.S. Representative John Shimkus;
- Matt Rice, district director for U.S. Representative Mike Bost;
- Ben Barnes, Second Chief of the Shawnee Tribe;
- George Blanchard, representative of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma;
- Todd Carr, president of the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau; and
- Dean Bidle, program manager for Numismatic Packaging Planning at the United States Mint.
Cindy Cain, executive director of the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau, served as master of ceremonies. The public traded their cash for $10 rolls of newly minted Shawnee National Forest quarters after the ceremony.
In addition, the Mint also hosted a coin forum at Shawnee National Forest Headquarters the evening before the launch ceremony.
Collectible products featuring the Shawnee National Forest quarters are available for purchase directly from the United States Mint at its online catalog at catalog.usmint.gov/ and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468).
Located in the southern tip of Illinois, Shawnee National Forest offers a variety of outdoor opportunities and diverse landscapes. In contrast with the remainder of Illinois, the site’s rolling landscape and rugged bluffs, is home to a diversity of plant and animal life. Covered in deciduous forests and cradled between two major river ways (the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers), it is the only national forest in Illinois.
The Shawnee National Forest quarter is the 31st release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters®Program, a 12-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites authorized by Public Law 110-456. Each year, the public will see five new national sites depicted on the reverse of the America the Beautiful Quarters. The United States Mint is issuing these quarters in the order in which the national sites were officially established.
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.
- A digital image of the quarter is available at Shawnee National Forest http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/?action=photo#AmericaTheBeautiful.
- Information about Shawnee National Forest is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee.
- Additional information about the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is available at http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/.
- Information about the United States Mint is available at http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/.