San Francisco’s clean and green program, the Department of Public Works’ Community Clean Team, launched its 2013 season Saturday, holding a benefit at U.N. Plaza.

Mayor Ed Lee, along with several dignitaries, joined at the plaza for the first of eight Community Clean Team events throughout the year, as well as celebrate the Chinese New Year, according to the organization.

After a kickoff celebration, which included a dance performance and more than 1,500 firecrackers being set off, roughly 400 volunteers teamed up to clean San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Civic Center and South of Market neighborhoods, officials said.

The cleaning included landscaping, taking care of trees, painting over graffiti, and picking up litter in parks, alleyways and public housing sites.

Community Clean Team has been holding cleaning events since 2000, and generally runs each season from February through October.

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