By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
The new quarter features a view of Mount Chocorua.
A birch-tree framed view of Mount Chocorua graces the backside of a quarter that the federal government started distributing Monday, one of 56 scenes featured in America the Beautiful quarters.
The quarter commemorates the White Mountain National Forest, and is the second New England spot to land on the special quarters.
“White Mountain National Forest is one of America’s most visited national forests,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in prepared remarks. “We hope this latest recognition will inspire even more Americans to enjoy our nation’s many outdoor recreational opportunities while supporting local economic growth and job creation.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston started shipping the quarters on Monday, and the U.S. Mint made the coin available to collectors. An official kickoff is slated for Feb. 21 at Plymouth State University.
The coin features a distant view of the 3,500-foot Chocorua (Choc-or-EW-a), the easternmost peak of the Sandwich Randge that is a favorite of hikers. Lake Chocorua is in the foreground.
“That was something we thought really depicted the White Mountain National Forest,” said Forest spokesman Colleen Mainville. “This is years in the making. It takes a lot of time and effort.”
Twenty coin designs are available so far, according to the U.S Mint website. A coin commemmorating Acadia National Park in Maine went into circulation last year.
Mint spokesman Mike White said the White Mountain coin is still being minted, so he cannot say how many will be struck. Volume ranges from 44 million to 302 million, the high number celebrating Denali National Park in Alaska.
“It has to do with how much the Fed is ordering,” he said of the production run.
He said the Federal Reserve started filling orders from banks on Monday.
“Generally, the financial institutions that has more transactions is more likely to have them,” he said.
Mainville said preparations for the kickoff are underway and include participation by a local bank and school children. Enough collectors have expressed interest that the event was moved to Plymouth State University, she said. Invitations have been sent to Gov. Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire congressmen.
Future releases involving New England scenes will be Block Island in Rhode Island, 2018; Lowell National Historic Park in Massachusetts, 2019; Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, 2020; Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historic Site in Vermont, 2020.