Dozens of volunteers get their hands dirty for a good cause.  As NY1's Shannan Ferry explains, the participants are happy to bring something positive to a park that's been surrounded by so much darkness lately. 

On Sunday, more than 60 people picked up trash and spruced up Spring Creek Park. 

"Everything that we pick up, we think about the people that later on in the future are going to come and gonna say wow this looks amazing," said volunteer Deymarie Gomez. 

The volunteers were with the World Mission Society Church of God. They've worked with the American Littoral Society for the past eight years, to maintain areas around Jamaica Bay. 

"There's a lot of cigarettes, there's a lot of water bottles, beer, things that shouldn't even be found in public places," said volunteer Wilmer Rapozo. 

Volunteers also note the type of trash they pickup and record the information on forms.  The data is then used for research. 

"With hopes of getting legislation passed, getting funding for cleaning up the shores, focusing attention on the marine debris problem," said Don Riepe, who is the Northeast Chapter Director for the American Littoral Society. 

Participants also said that Sunday's cleanup was especially meaningful for another reason. 

Spring Creek Park made national headlines in August after 30-year-old jogger Karina Vetrano was murdered there. 

The volunteers said they're happy to bring some joy to an area that's been surrounded by so much darkness. 

"To restore a sense of peace, a sense of happiness, and comfort to the community," said volunteer Carrie Song. 

They hope that others now follow their lead. 

Their service project is part of a public awareness campaign to emphasize the importance of volunteering.