The National Parks Quarters series has been issued since 2010, and the U.S. Mint recently announced the designs of the five unique coins to be released in 2017. The series features a National Park or other national site from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five overseas U.S. territories. In cases where there is no National Park, a site such as a National Monument or National Historical Site is used instead.
National Parks Quarters are issued at the rate of five per year, and the order of issue is the order in which the sites came under federal control. Coins are issued one-at-a-time, so each coin is a limited edition of only about 10 weeks; the designs can never be used again.
2017 is the eighth year of the National Parks Quarters series. The five designs for 2017, in the order of issue, are:
- Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa). Established in 1949, Effigy Mounds preserves hundreds of Native American mounds, mostly in the shapes of bears and birds. The coin depicts the Marching Bear group, showing two bears and a bird.
- Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (District of Columbia). The site, established in 1962, honors former slave Frederick Douglass, who was a legendary abolitionist and statesman. The design features Douglas at his desk, with his Cedar Hill home in the background.
- Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Missouri). Located in southern Missouri, the site was created in 1964 as the first national park area to protect a river system. The coin shows Alley Mill, which is one of over 100 historic structures in the park.
- Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty National Monument) (New Jersey). Generations of immigrants first stepped foot on American soil at Ellis Island, adjacent to the Statue of Liberty. It became a national site in 1965. A family of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island dominates the design.
- George Rogers Clark National Historical Park (Indiana). The park was established in 1966 to honor the victory over the British in 1779 that assured U.S. claims to what became known as the American Midwest. The coin highlights George Rogers Clark leading his men into battle.