Mercer Island Boy Scout to build bird sanctuary

The 15-year-old will complete the project with the help of older Eagle Scouts.

Photo courtesy of Roxanne Helleren 
                                Al Smallman and Alexander Raffetto are intergenerational Eagle Scouts.

Photo courtesy of Roxanne Helleren Al Smallman and Alexander Raffetto are intergenerational Eagle Scouts.

When Al Smallman was 15 years old, he earned the highest achievement available in the Boy Scouts of America — the rank of Eagle Scout. That was in 1951.

Today, the Covenant Shores resident is 84 years old and helping a local teenager do the same thing through a project slated for the spring on the Shores campus. Alexander Raffetto, a 15-year-old with Troop 647 on Mercer Island, developed the idea to create a bird sanctuary at the retirement community.

The bird sanctuary is designed to support the local bird population and will consist of three bird houses and native plants to provide year-round shelter, food and nesting sites for the desired birds.

“It is an honor to have a part in orchestrating and supporting Alexander Raffetto,” said Roxanne Helleren, resident life director for Covenant Shores. “It’s an excellent intergenerational opportunity.”

Alexander Raffetto is a 15-year-old scoutg with Troop 647 on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Helleren

Alexander Raffetto is a 15-year-old scoutg with Troop 647 on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Helleren

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Photo courtesy of Roxanne Helleren 
                                Left to right, Bob Howell, Al Smallman, Alexander Raffetto, Johnny Therrell, John Kneepkens and Bob Welsh are planning to build a bird sanctuary on the Covenant Shores campus as part of an Eagle Scout project.
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