Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios joined Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock at the El Portal Rain Forest Visitor Center in Puerto Rico to celebrate the release of the El Yunque National Forest quarter. The coin’s reverse (tails side) depicts a Coqui tree frog sitting on a leaf and a Puerto Rican parrot behind an epiphyte plant with tropical flora in the background. The coin is the first to be released in 2012 and the 11th overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
“El Yunque National Forest is a perfect selection for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program,” said Treasurer Rios. “As Americans use this new quarter, they will connect to the stories of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot, the magnificent effort you are making to rescue this beautiful bird from extinction, and the biodiverse national treasure that is its home — El Yunque National Forest.”
Additional participants in the event included El Yunque National Forest supervisor Pablo Cruz and Channel 6 TV producer Maria Falcon, who served as master of ceremonies. The event culminated in a coin exchange where members of the crowd traded their currency for rolls of the El Yunque National Forest quarter.
El Yunque National Forest was first established as a national site on January 17, 1903. It is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Despite the forest’s relatively small 28,000-acre size, it is significant for its immense biodiversity and is popular with visitors for its year-round tropical climate. More than one million visitors from all over the world visit the forest each year to sample its eco-tourism pleasures while developing a greater understanding of its ecological importance by walking along the many beautiful trails.