Steve Cook Fundraiser for Friends of Luce Line West

The Fundraiser
My name is Steve Cook and I live in Hutchinson, Minnesota. I am dedicating my ride in the July 13, 2024, Triple Bypass bike ride in Colorado to the Friends of the Luce Line West. My goal is to raise $12,000 for the purpose of planting 100 trees along the 22 miles of paved Luce Line State Trail in McLeod County. Ash trees are the predominant species along some areas of the trail, but those trees will eventually succumb to the emerald ash borer now that it has been found in McLeod County. Working with the DNR, planting new trees will be a proactive effort to help replace the ash. The new trees will also improve the trail by providing more diversity of trees and will help provide more shade and color for future generations. Any extra funds raised will be used to plant more trees and/or help provide other trail improvements.

-- placeholder --
Man in bicycle jersey and hat smiling at camera

More About Steve Cook

During my time as a local elected official in Hutchinson, MN, and as president of the Friends of the Luce Line West for the past nine years, I have worked to improve the Luce Line State Trail – particularly the 27 mile section through McLeod County. I am also an avid bicyclist who enjoys taking long rides, seeing new areas and scenery, and taking in the sights, sounds and smells along the way. I have enjoyed many rides on the Luce Line and consider it a local, regional, and statewide asset. The trail is essentially a linear park that provides a range of recreation opportunities for users, connects users to nature, helps improve health, connects communities, and improves safety. It is worth improving and protecting.

More About the Triple Bypass
The Triple Bypass is an epic bike ride through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The ride covers 118 miles from Evergreen to Avon, Colorado, and includes 10,800 feet of elevation gain as riders cross three mountain passes – Juniper, Loveland, and Vail – during the challenging but spectacular ride. The highest pass is Loveland Pass, which tops out at 11,990 feet. Learn more about the Triple Bypass at www.triplebypass.org.

More About the Luce Line State Trail
The Luce Line State Trail is one of the oldest state trails in Minnesota, and is popular for biking, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The Luce Line extends 63 miles from Plymouth in the west metro, through Hutchinson, to Thompson Lake, west of Cosmos. The Luce Line stretches across varied landscapes, including elements of the Big Woods on the east to remnants of the tall grass prairie to the west. Learn more about the Luce Line State Trail.

More About the Friends of the Luce Line West
Founded in 2015, the Friends of the Luce Line West is a group of volunteers whose mission is to work with other stakeholders to improve, maintain and promote the Luce Line State Trail. The Friends has partnered with the DNR annually to provide a portable toilet along the trail, partnered with the DNR & the SnoPros to plant trees and shrubs along Highway 7 west of the underpass, and partnered with others to purchase and install two bike repair stations and add trail-related directional signage. The Friends has also sponsored trail clean-ups, a photo contest and co-sponsored a scavenger hunt with the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. Learn more at www.friendsoftheluceline.org.

More About Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota
The Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota is the Friends of the Luce Line West’s fiscal sponsor and thus provides the group with its non-profit status and accounting services, among other things. Founded in 1954, the mission of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota is to acquire, protect and enhance critical land for the public’s use and benefit. To that end, the P&TC has been instrumental in adding land to the state park and trail systems, advocating for policy positions at the state legislature and conducting research so decisions are made with the best available science and data. The P&TC also partners with 45 Friends groups from across the state. Learn more about the P&TC at www.parksandtrails.org.