March 18, 2004 - by Barry HendryBancroft Times 
Through a $30,000 grant from Bell Canada’s Community Development Fund, a North Hastings Scenic Route Project will go ahead under the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).
Bell announced the funding on March 16, but the project has been in development for some time and is based on three successful scenic routes in the Municipality of Hastings Highlands.  That effort was through the creation and development of Councilors Lorraine Fell and Christine Hass.  They also created a descriptive brochure and maps of the routes.
Bob Cloes of the CFDC told the Hastings Highlands Council at its March 10 session that he was expecting funding very soon.  He was pleased with the idea and the progress made by his staff.  Council expressed their excitement at the use of its routes as the basis of another positive way to interest tourists.
“The project is truly about encouraging the discovery and exploration of this region,” Cloes said on March 16.  “With the assistance from Bell, we are able to integrate global positioning systems (GPS), high frequency digital mapping and wireless mobile field computing to meet people’s needs in a customized way.”
“It’s extremely rewarding to assist in funding such innovative programs,” said Bell Executive Vice President Terry Mosey.  “Bell Canada has always been committed to communities in Ontario, and it's gratifying to see the positive impact that improved communication technology will have on these organizations.”
The project will develop a website using GIS technology to map the three existing routes.  This will allow site visitors to create custom detailed maps targeting their specific points of interest along any North Hastings Scenic Route.  The planners hope to expand the project this year by mapping ten new scenic routes in seven municipalities in North Hastings.