About the ProgramThe United States Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters Program started in 2010, an effort to spotlight and honor the nation's many unique national parks and sites. Each year, five new quarters will be released, and overall, 56 areas are to be featured. The heads side of the legal tender quarters displays the common 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, and each tails side depicts an honored site in the United States, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The first five quarters in the series, released in 2010, include Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, California's Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Oregon's Mt. Hood National Forest. While the mint's state quarter program allowed anyone and everyone to submit design ideas, sites for the America the Beautiful series were recommended by "the chief executive of each host jurisdiction (State/District of Columbia/Territory), and formal designs were initiated by the U.S. Mint. Eventually, after consultation and review by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, designs were finalized by the Secretary of the Treasury.
You can purchase America the Beautiful Quarters Program products directly from the United States Mint. Available are sets, bags, rolls and albums.
The Oklahoma Quarter DesignFeatured on Oklahoma's entry in the America the Beautiful Quarter Program is the Lincoln Bridge at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur. Built of limestone and originally dedicated in 1909 to commemorate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the bridge was designed in the "Gothic Revival" architectural style and includes four turrets. It is an important landmark as well as quite a scenic spot. See a photo gallery of the park and Lincoln Bridge on the National Park Service website.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area was established as a national site in 1902, in conjunction with the Chickasaw Nation tribe. At 9,889 acres, the area is a picturesque site with woodlands, a lake, mineral springs, geological formations, diverse wildlife and more.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter itself (pictured above) shows the tree-shrouded Lincoln Bridge over the Travertine Creek, with a flock of ducks soaring overhead.
Release InformationThe Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter will be the 5th quarter released in 2011 and the 10th overall. The release is scheduled for mid-November of 2011, coinciding with the 104th anniversary of Oklahoma's statehood. The quarter will actually enter circulation on November 14th.
The 2011 quarters, the second year of the program, also include Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, Montana's Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park in Washington and Mississippi's Vicksburg National Military Park.