MUNISING —¬†While it may look like an ordinary quarter on one side, if you flip it over, you will see part of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

The United States Mint joined the National Park Service today at Mather Elementary School in Munising to celebrate the release of the coin, honoring the landmark that’s popular with locals and tourists alike.

“It’s a gorgeous national park, and you can see it. You can see it on the quarter, you’ve seen the pictures around, hopefully, you’ve been to the national park. It’s a beautiful area and it represents Michigan very well,” said Marc Landry, the acting associate director for the Numismatic and Bullion Directorate.

The Pictured Rocks quarter is 41st coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program and the first of five to be released in 2018. The coins have been in production since October and the U.S. Mint will stop producing them in March. It is projected that 433 million Pictured Rocks quarters will be made during that time.

The process of releasing the quarter has been long – nine years, to be exact – but Mather Elementary and Munising Middle School students, National Parks Service staff and the public were excited to get their hands on the celebratory coin.

Chief of Interpretation and Communication at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Susan Reece said, “Chapel Rock is just a beautiful rock and that lone pine tree kind of clinging to life up there is just a really awesome representation of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.”

Several different designs were made for the tails side of the quarters, but the designer, Paul Balan, said the one that was selected was his personal favorite. While he has never visited Pictured Rocks, Balan plans to bring his family back to the national lakeshore this summer.

He also said that he is proud to have designed something that represents America.

“As a Filipino-American, the Filipino community is so honored and the Asian community is so honored and my family is so proud that I am representing American coinage,” said Balan.

Each child under 18 who attended the celebration event received a shiny, new quarter and others were able to buy rolls of the coins from Peoples State Bank.

For more facts about the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter, click HERE.