SOUTH PORTLAND — The members of Boy Scout Troop 37 had their work cut out for them picking up trash Saturday morning at the head of the Clark’s Pond Trail.

A long winter’s worth of litter had blown across the parking lot of The Home Depot and into the bushes and trees at the entrance to one of the city’s hidden hiking spots. Scouts Zach Hughes, 12, Ben Gaudreaux, 13, and Daigen Burton, 10, said they had extracted numerous cigarette butts, straws, coffee cups and plastic containers from the landscape.

“Some of it is gross,” said Burton.

The Scouts were among a small army of volunteers who turned out for the South Portland Land Trust Earth Day Clean Up. The annual cleanup, about 20 years old, focuses on city trails, waterways and neighborhoods.

Volunteers picked up their bags and gloves at Mill Creek Park, where they could learn about the Japanese knotweed removal project at nearby Pope Preserve before fanning out across the city. Trash that could be recycled was separated at eight trash drop-off stations.

“This is a good time to do it before the foliage hides it all,” said Jeff Ryan, a land trust board member.

Volunteers registered at a table set up at Mill Creek Park and then went to other parts of the city. Some concentrated on their own neighborhoods.

Rebeccah Schaffner, a member of the Ferry Village Neighborhood Conservation Association, worked on the sides of the Greenbelt Walkway from Benjamin W. Pickett Street to the parking lot at Hannaford Supermarket.

“There is usually a fair amount of trash,” said Schaffner.

City Councilor Patti Smith planned to focus on the banks of Trout Creek between Mahoney Middle and Brown Elementary schools. She said it is hard work, because she has to pick up litter on an incline.

“It has been my ritual for a few years” said Smith.

Margaret and Tim Swartz planned to trash-pick along a favorite section of the Greenbelt Walkway near Broadway and Evans Street, an area they say they have adopted. Swartz said he has found all sorts of strange items along the trail in the past. He has removed tires, stereos and even a landscape rake that he said was in good enough shape to add to his own lawn tool collection.

“This is an awful lot of fun, to get outside, listen to birds and, OK, pick up trash, too,” said Swartz.

The South Portland Land Trust is a private, nonprofit group that is working to create and preserve open space and establish 20 miles of trails that link to trails in surrounding communities.

At the end of the cleanup Saturday, 32 volunteers had collected 50 jumbo-sized trash bags full of litter. Among the items picked up were several large plastic foam dock floats and a Wilson volleyball, Ryan said.