New coin honors Everglades National Park

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Coin collectors should head down to Homestead December 4 if they want to get their hands on the latest quarter honoring one of Florida’s most precious gems. A new 25-cent piece is being released honoring the Everglades.

The quarter features an anhinga with outstretched wings and a roseate spoonbill. Despite the stretch of I-75 that crosses through the Everglades from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale being nicknamed “Alligator Alley” there is no alligator on the new coin.

The coin release is part of a 12-year United States Mint initiative called America the Beautiful Program. The Everglades quarter is the twenty-fifth release out of the 56 national parks and other sites that will be honored throughout the program. Each year the mint issues five new commemorative coins in the order in which the national sites were established.

Ten-dollar rolls of the new coins can be purchased during the release at Harris Field Park Pavilion in Homestead. The evening before the release at 6:30 the United States Mint will host a public forum at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center in Everglades National Park where individuals can contribute ideas for future special coins. Officials from the mint will also provide information about future programs and initiatives.

The coin honoring Everglades National Park is the 25th 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 (tails side) 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.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.