Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem community could join prestigious list

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A section of Bethlehem could soon make a list with the likes of Independence Hall and Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service has announced the historic Moravian Community of Bethlehem, will be added to its US World Heritage Tentative List.

"The United States only has 23 sites as of this point on the world heritage list. For us here in Bethlehem in this historic Moravian community to be added to the US tentative list for eventual nomination to the world heritage list is just unbelievably fabulous," says Charlene Donchez Mowers, President of Historic Bethlehem's Museums and Sites.

It's a highly prestigious designation when you could join the ranks of the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

"When you think of all the historic sites in the United States, to be chosen as one of the sites to be put forth by the United States is an incredible honor," says Donchez Mowers.

The application process to get on the US World Heritage List is no easy task. Donchez Mowers compares it to writing a doctoral thesis, one she's been working on it since 2002.

"I have been collaborating with several other historic Moravian communities around the world," says Donchez Mowers.

The historic community isn't expected to make the list this year but perhaps in the next 2-10 years.

"We're hoping very much that we are the next ones that are government decides to put forth," says Donchez Mowers.

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