KILAUEA — The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, a Hawai‘i 501(c)3 nonprofit that protects and stewards the lands that sustain Hawai‘i, has promoted Makana Reilly to director of ‘aina connection.
In this new position, Reilly will work to enhance community connections to HILT’s public lands throughout Hawai‘i. This includes leading educational and cultural programming initiatives on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island.
Reilly started at HILT in August 2019 as the organization’s office manager and executive assistant to the chief executive officer.
Born and raised on O‘ahu, and with deep family ties to Kaua‘i, she earned a master’s degree in the Hawaiian language from the University of Hawai‘i, with a focus on familial-land-management options, and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Miami. She is graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama.
Her previous work includes serving as a manager of the community gathering space Ka Waiwai, where she built relationships with community leaders, breathing life into a new, visionary workspace for activists, educators, ‘ohana and learners.
In addition, Reilly volunteers with Kanaeokana (a network supporting Hawaiian language, culture and ‘aina-based education), Manoa Heritage Center, Na Leo Kako‘o (Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Anuenue’s parent organization), and ‘Aha Kauleo, a statewide council advising the state Department of Education superintendent on Hawaiian-language-immersion charter schools.
“This new position plays a critical role in supporting HILT’s focus on helping people throughout Hawai‘i build reciprocal relationships with natural places in their community,” said Laura H.E. Ka‘akua, HILT CEO.
“Makana deeply understands the importance of building communities that are connected to and feel a responsibility to care for their coastlines, Hawaiian cultural landscapes, and farmsm,” said Ka‘akua.
”HILT’s Kahili Beach Preserve on Kaua‘i’s North Shore (including the area where the Kilauea River meets the ocean known as Rock Quarries) is a strong example of a community-owned and stewarded preserve, so it makes sense for this new position to be based on Kaua‘i.”