LA CROSSE, Wis. -

La Crosse's Washburn neighborhood now has a new green space to enjoy.

Members at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in La Crosse have been planning for a community garden behind the church's parking lot for the last year.

They raised roughly $9,000 to transform the space into a peace garden with a sitting area and three rain gardens

Organizers said the La Crosse community has seen an increase in drug use and violence in the past few years, including the shooting death of 20-year old Sara Hougom, who was shot and killed about a block away from the church.

They said they wanted to do something good for the community.

"We just needed some place that was peaceful," said Lois Losby of Our Savior's Lutheran Church. "With Sara's murder being so close to us and our church, we just felt like this was the perfect thing to do."

The community garden's transformation isn't complete yet. Organizers also hope to create a meditation labyrinth for the garden within the next year.