Scotts Run tumbles into the Potomac about a mile and a half west of the American Legion Memorial Bridge. The stream passes through a forest of hemlock, beech, maple and ferns. It was that patch of nature that Elizabeth Miles Cooke wanted to preserve for future generations.
The longtime McLean resident was an artist and historian and author of a book on Old Georgetown Pike. She and her husband, the curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art, lived in a 200-year-old house near Swinks Mill Road and Georgetown Pike (Route 193). In 1970, she was among those who opposed plans to build 300 luxury homes on the 340-acre site known as the Burling Tract. The battle was tough, but Cooke prevailed and the land is today the Scotts Run Nature Preserve.
Betty Cooke died in May 1999 at the age of 91. Later that month, residents of Georgetown Pike approached the Fairfax County supervisors and urged that the bridge over Scotts Run not far from her home -- and not far from the wilderness she had saved -- be named after her.