Pilina ʻĀina

Pilina 'Āina cultivates ʻāina (land, ocean, that which feeds) education opportunities through Hawaiʻi lifeways to nurture meaningful pilina (relationships) that inspire a desire to live in reciprocity to ʻāina, steward place, and strengthen one’s community.

Pilina ʻĀina logo

Nurturing Land Connections

Delve into Pilina ʻĀina’s enriching programs, where students and educators are immersed in biocultural education. Through hands-on field courses and teacher training workshops, we strive to ignite a passion for environmental stewardship, fostering a deeper understanding and lasting bond with the beautiful, rich landscapes of Hawaiʻi.

Program Description / Summary

Pilina ʻĀina, formerly known as Teaching Change, is a collaborative  program of the USDA Forest Service, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests (AFTF). In the Hawaiian language pilina means relationship, and 'āina; land, earth – that which feeds us. As Pilina ʻĀina, we work to encourage, facilitate, and/or enhance students, teachers, and community relationships to 'āina through immersive and empowering ʻāina-based learning opportunities. Ultimately the experiences provided by Pilina ʻĀina are tailored to be extensions of the classroom and catalysts for haumāna (students) and kumu (teachers) to continue to seek and participate in aloha ʻāina learning, and stewardship with the Hawaiʻi values kuleana (responsibility), pono (goodness), aloha (love) and ha'aha'a (humility) at their core.
students planting a tree
Pilina ʻĀina teacher training program

Fostering ʻĀina Connection through Biocultural Collaboration

Pilina ʻĀina firmly believes that through collaborative efforts and the integration of biocultural perspectives deeply rooted in Hawaiʻi life ways, haumāna, kumu and kaiāulu (community members) will walk away with a deeper pilina and greater appreciation for ʻāina, as well as tools essential for caring for the ʻāina they call home.

Pilina ʻĀina Team


Program Coordinator
Pilina ʻĀina


Administrative Assistant
Pilina ʻĀina

Partnerships & Support

In Partnership With

  • USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station and Region 5 State & Private Forestry
  • University of Hawaiʻi

Mahalo Nui to Our Funders and Collaborators

We extend our deepest gratitude to our dedicated collaborators and supporters who play a pivotal role in making Pilina ʻĀina a reality. Their unwavering commitment enriches our journey, making significant strides towards fostering a deeper connection with ʻāina. Discover the wonderful entities we collaborate with and the invaluable supporters who stand with us on our Who We Work With page.