HALLOWELL — Pokemon Go players from an Augusta-based group picked up trash, cigarette butts and other small debris littering the brick sidewalks along Water Street on Saturday afternoon.

The whole time they walked and worked, they had their phones at the ready, hoping to capture the virtual cartoon monsters that give them points and bragging rights in the game that captured the interest of hordes of smartphone users when it debuted last month.

The community service effort by the group to respond positively after two signs were erected a week ago at 210 Water St., delineating private property and taking digs at Pokemon Go players by calling them “moron” and telling them to “get a real job.”

Adam Patterson, who also operates Timeless Treasures at 140 Water St. in Hallowell, said he paid for and put up those signs after some players failed to stay off his property at 210 Water St., kept bothering his tenants, and blocked their parking spaces despite his repeated pleas not to do so.

At his store Saturday, Patterson said he had nothing more to say about the controversy and that it was too soon to tell if his tenants no longer were affected.

Other storefronts along the street, including the Harlow Gallery, welcomed the players, offering a place to cool off and recharge on the bright, steamy afternoon.

Mike Silva carried an orange bucket, bending to pick up cigarette butts trapped between bricks; Maggie Coffin carried the cellphone and searched for Pokemon Go figures.

Coffin said she was the first person to notice the sign posted along the Water Street sidewalk that called Pokemon Go players morons. She posted a photo of it on the group’s Facebook page, which resulted in all the interest.

Kate Burns Carll, 60, of Hallowell watched some of the those doing the cleanup and said, “God bless them for doing it. They’re awesome kids.”

Matt Behr-Fowler was outside his Hallowell apartment building playing Pokemon Go, initially wondering why there were more characters available Saturday afternoon than usual. However, he had seen one of the controversial signs.

“I don’t think people should be playing on private property,” he said. “You don’t have to get that close to get some.”

However, he also said, “I do wish that the signs were a little friendlier.”

It was easy to see those engaged in the cleanup because of the bright orange buckets they carried – a donation by Home Depot, said Phillip Jones.

Jones said the group might do a cleanup at Mill Park in Augusta for their next event, since that is one of their favorite gathering and gaming sites.