Roseburg man buys Elk Island in hopes of opening recreational resort

Bernard Woodard said he plans to recruit homeless people to help with the clean-up, allowing them to temporarily live on the island in exchange for work.

Posted: May 14, 2021 6:12 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. – A Douglas County man has purchased a piece of property near downtown Roseburg in hopes of turning it into a recreational paradise.

Also known as Elk Island, the 25-acre property sits below Reservoir Hill and along the South Umpqua River. It was purchased by long-time Roseburg resident Bernard Woodard and his property management group, Elk Island Trading.

Woodard said he been eyeing the property for a long time but closed on the property on Thursday. He said he and his property management group have made efforts in the past to clean up the space, and he already has an idea of what he wants to do with it.

“Elk Island will eventually be a fishing resort from a bridge from the Pine Street overlay,” said Woodard. “Treehouses, elevated yurts, seasonal camping, all kinds of fun recreational things for the community.”

Woodard said they will spend the next year cleaning up the property. However, he said they are hoping to recruit some homeless people to help with the clean-up. He said he is willing to allow them to temporarily live on the property in exchange for three hours of work a day.

“(We hope to) offer it for homeless people to have a place to come, securely set their camp, and have a safe place with respect that they can help clean the place up and put gardens on it,” said Woodard.

Woodard said he hopes to start making plans for the recreation area after clean-up is finished.

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