A La Crosse area neighborhood association has reached a rare milestone.

The Washburn Neighborhood Association is now considered a nonprofit organization.

The process took more than two-and-a-half years.

With a nonprofit status, the group can now apply for grants to fund community improvement projects.

It also means any donations it receives are considered tax exempted.

The group's vice chair, Janice Hauswirth said the nonprofit status opens up more doors to help not just the Wasburn community, but other surround neighborhood associations as well.

“There's a lot of businesses in our neighborhood, schools, churches (and) we just want to work with everyone to improve this neighborhood -- make it an enjoyable place to live and work,” said Hauswirth.

The Washburn Neighborhood Association is the only neighborhood association in La Crosse to receive nonprofit status.