Residents in the Dranesville neighborhood of McLean Hunt Estates last week gained the support of the McLean Citizens Association in an attempt to thwart the Fairfax County School Board's plans to fill and grade a 24-acre area intended for two soccer fields behind the future Spring Hill Recreation Center.

Members of the McLean umbrella group that represents 30 civic associations expect to meet with Dranesville district supervisor Nancy K. Falck and other county officials to discuss the possible damage to Bull Neck Run stream, which runs through the proposed fill site.

The group will ask Falck to withhold approval of the plan for at least 60 days until residents and county officials can assess what effect the fill and grading would have on the water system and future soil erosion.

The site between Spring Hill and Lewinsville roads is a pastoral scene of rolling land, old farm buildings, a corn field and 100-foot poplar trees bordered on two sides by houses costing an average of $250,000. Most of these residents oppose the site plan because they say it will cover up Bull Neck Run and scare away wildlife.

The 24-acre area would be filled to the average depth of 12 feet with about 387,000 cubic yards of earth from several excavation sites in Tysons Corner, according to Edward R. Moore, director of site acquisition and development for the School Board. The earth would fill in the part of Bull Neck Run stream on the school property and water would be conducted by storm drains to the stream further north. The fill would be 50 feet deep on top of the stream. The trees along the stream would be cut down.

Efforts to stop the landfilling are being spearheaded by Gary Edwards, president of the McLean Hunt Estates Civic Association that represents a subdivision of 60 families. Edwards, whose property abuts the site, said that filling in the stream valley would damage Bull Neck Run and endanger the drinking water of the nearby Spring Hill Farm, a 200-year-old, 26-acre farm on the north border of the fill site.

The farm's owner, Peter Andrews, said that covering up Bull Neck Run could affect a number of natural springs on his land. He is also concerned about his own well water that is supplied by the Bull Neck Run watershed. Andrews said that covering part of the watercourse would upset the whole downstream section of Bull Neck Run on his property.

"There's springs all over the place. Anything that disturbs the source of the stream endangers the whole thing. I don't like anybody fooling around with the stream at all," Andrews said.

Edwards and nine other nearby property owners wrote Falck and other county officials that according to Fairfax County's comprehensive plan for land development, Bull Neck Run stream valley and its watershed should be preserved and protected. The plan also calls for protecting the wildlife in the Bull Neck Run area "from the harmful effects of urbanization."

The School Board's Moore said that by filling and leveling the area and installing a storm drainage system less erosion would result than is occurring at present.