Don't forget to renew your fishing licenses Last year's fishing licenses expire on February 29, so get yours while its hot. That way you can land one of the beauties on the right, captured by ODNR photographer Tim Daniel. New licenses are valid March 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009. Resident fishing licenses cost $19. Hunters age 17 and under and some Ohio senior citizens are eligible for discounted licenses. A one-day Ohio fishing license costs $11, an amount that can later be applied to the purchase of an annual license. They are available online and at most hunting/fishingoutdoor businesses. [More info]

Free trees, the legal kind The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has renewed its conifer matching program. Landowners who order a minimum of 500 conifer seedlings in any of six varieties from the ODNR for planting this spring can receive an equal number of free white pine seedlings. The ODNR Division of Forestry Conifer Match Program represents significant savings for landowners who want a total of at least 1,000 seedlings for conservation and reforestation purposes.

That might be too many for apartment dwellers, but it's a great incentive to plant a young forest in your yard. My mom and I planted a few pines when I was young; I went home this weekend, and they are much taller than I am.

For info, click to or call 877-691-8733. [Seedling sales]

(Part of the Darby Watershed) Last chance to join Winter Hike Series Don't forget to join in the last of the Columbus Metro Parks' Winter Hike Series on Saturday, February 23 at 10 a.m. This one goes to Battelle Darby Creek in Galloway. I went to one at Highbanks, and it was packed.Tons of fun. There will be guided and self-guided tours ranging from two to six miles.

[Hike series story] [Battelle-Darby Creek] [Hike schedule]