The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's toll-free Mountain Parks Information Service referral line is now open for public use.
The telephone service will give callers information on recreational opportunities in city, county, state and national parks within the greater Los Angeles area. The number is (800) 533-PARK.
The information line is funded by the conservancy, in cooperation with the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which provided information about parks under their control.
It is staffed with English- and Spanish-speaking operators who will use a computer data base to recommend parks that best suit callers' needs and requests, according to conservancy spokeswoman Laura Plotkin.
"We want people to know that these mountains belong to them. . . . Once they get up here and use them, they'll understand why they need to protect them," said Joseph T. Edmiston, executive director of the agency.