As we reported last summer, 2018 will see two coins paying homage to the area we call home. The first of those coins officially went into circulation this week, donning a design that reflects the beauty of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.

The coin is being minted as part of the U.S. Mint's 'America The Beautiful' Quarters Program, highlighting national parks and wildlife/recreational areas around the country. The program started in 2010, featuring coins for Yellowstone National ParkYosemite National ParkGrand Canyon National Park, and a couple others. The most recent in that series of coins features the Apostle Islands.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that a ceremony was held at Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff, Wisconsin on Wednesday to commemorate the minting of this coin. As part of the ceremony, the first two Apostle Islands quarters minted were on display and a group of 200 students from local elementary schools each got a quarter featuring the design as part of the ceremony.

The Apostle Islands coin features the traditional George Washington "heads" side of the coin, with the "tails" side featuring a kayaker paddling by the famous sea caves the park is known for, as well as the Devil's Island Lighthouse, which is on one of the park's outermost islands in Lake Superior. The park was established in 1970 to protect the unique islands, shoreline and light stations within the park's borders.

The coin's design was created by Richard A. Masters and sculpted by Renata Gordon.

US Mint

Wisconsin has no national parks, but Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is one of four National Parks Service-maintained attractions, which also include Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Madison, North Country National Scenic Trail (which extends through many states, including Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota), and Saint Croix National Riverway in Saint Croix Falls.

While you should start seeing Apostle Islands quarters soon as they are mixed into circulation, a second area coin is set to be minted in 2018 as well. Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park will have a coin minted, highlighting Minnesota's only National Park. This coin is expected to be released on June 11. The design prominently features a loon on a lake with rugged northwoods scenery behind it. You can see more about this coin design here.