WAIHEʻE, MAUI – July 13, 2023 – Hawaiʻi Land Trust (HILT) received a $10,000 grant from Nareit Hawaii to support the nonprofit’s ʻāina-based education program.
HILT is a statewide local nonprofit that protects and stewards the lands that sustain Hawaiʻi and connects people to the land through education, public access, and cultural practice. For more than a decade, the nationally accredited land trust has preserved over 21,900 acres across the islands through land purchases and conservation easements, protecting Hawai‘i’s coastlines, cultural landscapes, and lands that grow food.
HILT formalized its ʻāina-based education program in 2019 and has expanded the program to four preserves on three islands, with plans to increase to six preserves on four islands in 2024. HILT’s programming includes field trips, school visits, educational videos, and internships.
“Through ʻāina -based education, Hawai‘i Land Trust is creating opportunities for students across Hawai‘i to learn about traditional land stewardship activities and Hawaiian value sets,” said Denby Freeland, MEd, HILT’s Director of ʻĀina Education. “This generous grant supports our efforts to further these programs – which are proven to strengthen and reinforce lessons taught in the classroom and increase student wellbeing – at our community preserves statewide.”
“We’re happy to support HILT’s efforts in expanding its ʻāina-based education programs,” said Nareit Hawaii Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone. “We admire what HILT is doing to empower teachers, students, and parents to help people form reciprocal relationships with special places throughout our islands.”