U.S. Mint and Denali National Park officials are considering Nov. 15 as the date and Healy, Alaska, as the location for official launch ceremonies for the circulating quarter dollar honoring the park.
Nov. 15 is the date being considered by officials at Denali National Park in Alaska and the U.S. Mint for official launch ceremonies for the 2012 Denali National Park quarter dollar.
The quarter dollar is being released into circulation through the Federal Reserve Banks on Nov. 5.
Kris Fister, public affairs officer at Denali, said officials are seeking a location that will be able to accommodate up to 500 people for the launch ceremony. That need likely will involve a facility in Healy, the borough seat for Denali Borough, Fister said.
Healy, with a population of approximately 1,000 year-round residents, is located 10 miles northeast of the Denali National Park, 250 miles north of Anchorage and 110 miles south of Fairbanks. Route 3 extends from 35 miles north of Anchorage to Healy and on to Fairbanks.
Fister said Healy has limited venues that can accommodate up to 500 people. Healy is under consideration to host the quarter dollar launch ceremonies because most of the park, including the main visitors center, is shut down and inaccessible in November due to weather conditions, Fister said. The backup visitors center does not have enough physical space to handle the event, she said.
The venue being considered is the Tri-Valley Community Center, which also contains a branch of First National Bank Alaska, the only bank in Healy, Fister said. Discussions are being held with bank officials for the financial institution to sponsor and oversee the exchange of $10 rolls of 2012-D Denali National Park quarter dollars following the official ceremonies, Fister said.
The community center is being considered because the only other venue large enough to accommodate 500 people, the gymnasium of Tri-Valley School, is having its floor repaired because of water damage, Fister said.
The Tri-Valley Community Library is being considered as the host venue for a coin forum staged the evening of Nov. 14 by U.S. Mint officials. The Mint will outline the bureau’s initiatives and field questions from participants.
The 2012 Denali National Park quarter dollar is the 15th of 56 quarter dollars being issued under America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, Public Law 110–456. The reverse designs of the quarter dollars honor national parks and historic sites in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories — Guam, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
The quarter dollars are issued in the order in which the site being honored was congressionally recognized.
The Denali National Park quarter dollar reverse was designed by Susan Gamble, a master designer with the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Jim Licaretz.
The design features a Dall sheep with Mount McKinley rising in the background.
The Mint followed the advice of both the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, offered during the two panels’ October 2010 meetings, of making the sheep larger on the coin than it appeared in the original rendition provided to the two groups for their review. ■