By Office of Corporate Communications
February 18, 2020
In this video, U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill discusses her work on the National Park of American Samoa Quarter.
On February 13, 2020, the U.S. Mint released a quarter honoring the National Park of American Samoa in Utulei, American Samoa. The quarter is the first release of 2020 and the 51st release of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
Despite the tropical downpour, the quarter launch ceremony was attended by approximately 800 people, including 500 children. The ceremony included cultural performances by local students. Following the launch ceremony, the Territorial Bank of American Samoa exchanged $7,000 in quarters.
The National Park of American Samoa Quarter features a Samoan fruit bat mother hanging in a tree with her pup, evoking the remarkable care and energy that the species puts into their offspring. The design promotes awareness to the species’ threatened status due to habitat loss and commercial hunting. The National Park of American Samoa is the only park in the United States that is home to the Samoan fruit bat.
“This is the first time a bat has been featured on a U.S. coin,” said Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill. “It’s a kind of a neat little texture on the skin on the wing itself, so it was a really fun sculpt to do, especially the eyes. I used some interesting sculpture techniques for the eyes. I had a lot of fun sculpting it.”
Located some 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, National Park of American Samoa is one of the most remote in the U.S. National Park System. The site includes sections of three volcanic islands: Tutuila, Ta’ū, and Ofu. The park’s area totals 13,500 acres, 4,000 of which are underwater. Almost all of the land area is tropical rainforest.
Looking for ideas or resources related to the American Samoa and Samoan fruit bats? Check out our free lesson plans:
- Discovering the Role of the Fruit Bat (Grades 3-5): Students will learn about the fruit bat, its role in the ecosystem of the American Samoa, and design and play a game about fruit bats.
- Patterning in the Pacific (Grades K-1): Students will identify, understand, and create simple patterns.
- Trading Traditions (Grades 2-3): Students will identify the purpose and duties of an orator. Students will identify and share personal family traditions.
- In with the Imports (Grades 4-6): Students will understand exporting and importing. Students will be able to recognize where resources are located, who needs them, and how they are transported. Students will understand interdependence in the production of goods and services.
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