Maui News

Hawaiʻi Land Trust promotes Denby Freeland to Director of ʻĀina-Based Education

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Denby Freeland. PC: Hawaiʻi Land Trust

Hawai‘i Land Trust, Hawaiʻi’s statewide local nonprofit land trust that protects, stewards, and connects people to the lands that sustain Hawaiʻi, announced today the promotion of Denby Freeland to Director of ‘Āina-Based Education.

Freeland has worked with HILT since 2019, most recently serving as an educator at the Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge on Maui, where she spearheads and oversees numerous educational programs. She works with students in grades K-12, teachers and community groups at Waihe‘e and Nu‘u Refuges. In her new role, she will oversee HILT’s educational programs throughout Hawai‘i.

“I am looking forward to working with HILT’s staff and sites on other islands and bringing together that collective knowledge and experience,” she said.


Freeland is a Hawaiian cultural practitioner, educator, and artist. She has over 20 years of experience working outdoors with students. Born and raised on Oʻahu and Maui, she has held positions at Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center, Hawaiʻi Nature Center, Learning Endeavors, and worked with disabled youth. She is a well-known artist and Hawaiian kapa maker. Her recent works include a collection of watercolors, mixed media paintings and kapa which capture the light, shadow and rhythm of Hawaiʻi’s native plants. 

Freeland’s Hawaiian heritage ties her to Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. She earned her master’s degree in education at Heritage College in Washington and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington. She is a graduate of Punahou School.


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