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Algonquin Park wins national honor

JudsUniversity Music Professor Dr. Sojung Hong has released solo piano album titled 'Whispers from Heaven.' It includes 15 hymns carols

Judson University Music Professor Dr. Sojung Hong has released a solo piano album titled, "Whispers from Heaven." It includes 15 hymns and carols arranged by various composers.

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Updated: January 29, 2013 6:15AM

Algonquin: Park wins
national award

The Village of Algonquin has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness for a 2012 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award for the Gaslight Park Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary in Algonquin. The Conservation and Native Landscaping Awards recognize sites that are exemplary in the use of native landscaping, ecosystem restoration and protection, and/or conservation design. These practices create and protect habitat for a variety of native plant and animal species and result in important environmental benefits for both people and nature.

Previously, this area of Gaslight Park had a drainage creek and a grass bottom stormwater detention area. The creek banks became overgrown with invasive species, such as box elder and honeysuckle, causing erosion and impacting the stormwater capacity of this site. In 2009, the Village began removing the invasive species and restoring the area utilizing native landscaping. The site today features specific native plantings that create a desired habitat for birds and butterflies, while still maintaining the site’s stormwater capacity and filtration capabilities.

“This award is another fine example of Algonquin using conservation methods to develop sustainable solutions to drainage problems,” said Village President John Schmitt. “Stormwater is now filtered naturally and recharges our aquifers we use for drinking water and we no longer have the maintenance costs of mowing the site.”

Gaslight Park is located at 700 Terrace Drive in Algonquin. For more information, please visit

Elgin: Judson professor
releases solo album

Judson University Music Professor Dr. Sojung Hong has released a solo piano album titled, “Whispers from Heaven.” It includes 15 hymns and carols arranged by various composers. “Whispers from Heaven” is available for purchase online at or in the Judson University Bookstore for $15. All proceeds from the album sales will benefit the Judson University Choir’s international tour to China and South Korea scheduled for May 2013.

Korean-born pianist Sojung Lee Hong is an active soloist, collaborative pianist, professor, and church musician. Hong holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seoul National University magna cum laude and her doctoral degree in piano performance and literature from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching areas at Judson University include applied lessons, class piano, piano literature, pedagogy, and history & practice of worship music. As Director of the Performance Certificate in Music program at Judson University, she organizes the annual scholarship benefit concert and raises funds to support talented students’ education.

She has performed concertos with Valley Civic Orchestra, North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, Judson University Community Orchestra, and Elgin Community College Civic Orchestra. Currently, she is Associate Professor at Judson University and Music Director at West Alliance Church in Warrenville. She has helped to organize the Seoul National University Alumni benefit concerts, the Sejong Cultural Society benefit concerts and the Sejong Music Competition, and the charity concerts for Global Children Foundation and Food for the Hungry International.

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