This week marks a hundred years of the US National Parks Service. There are 59 National Parks in 27 states, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa. I got to enjoy the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia back in June. I drove down Sunrise Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the North Carolina border. You get a number of scenic views and historical sites along the way. It was a great, relaxing drive. Why am I talking about National Parks on a coin blog? Well, have you seen the Washington Quarters lately?
America the Beautiful (aka National Park) Quarters
In 2008, the last of the State Quarters were released. It was also in this year that Congress passed an act to produce a quarter from each state and US territory displaying a national park, refuge, forest, etc. With the US mint producing Washington Quarters for the District of Columbia and US Territories in 2009, the National Park Quarters would begin in 2010. With 5 different quarters minted each year, it is planned to last until 2021.
In 2010 and 2011, there were circulated and uncirculated coins minted in Philadelphia and Denver, and proof clad and silver coins in San Francisco. Starting in 2012, San Francisco would also mint uncirculated coins.
Just like the State Quarters, these quarters would be release in order that the national sites were established. Though Yellowstone was the first US National Park in 1872, the first coin released in 2010 was the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. Hot Springs Reservation would be protected by the US in 1832, and would officially become a National Park in 1921.
Since there will only be one coin for each state, some National Parks will have to be overlooked. California’s coin will have Yosemite National Park, yet the state has nine National Parks including Redwood, Sequoia and Death Valley.
Here’s my album
I saw this album at the New Hampshire Coin Show in Manchester, NH over a year ago. I figured I collected one of each state quarter for the United States map I purchased from the US Mint back in 1999. Why not go for the National Park Quarters? This album goes from 2010 – 2021 and has holes for the Philadelphia and Denver coins. This must have been made before 2012 because there are no holes for San Francisco coins and I have found 2 in change. The Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway quarters above are included in this album. As of this post, I am only missing 6 of the Philadelphia coins before 2016, but only have 4 coins from Denver. Now I have 2 reasons to visit Denver: visit the mint and buy quarter rolls.
Have You Visited any US National Parks?
Out of the 59 National Parks operated by the National Park Service, I have only made it to 2: Shenandoah in Virginia, and Arcadia in Maine. Most of the National Parks are west of the Mississippi River. California has 9. Alaska has 8. Utah has 5. That’s 22 right there. One I would especially like to visit would be Badlands in South Dakota so I could see Mount Rushmore nearby.