I have a portion of yard that I would like to de-lawn and transform into something more natural/native. I'm wondering what resources there are for planning my space, including knowing what natives grow best in my area. Thanks!
Great choice to go with native plants! We recommend that you start by reviewing the resources on our native plants page: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/native-plants. Observe how many hours of sun/shade you get in that particular space of your yard, and have your soil tested so you can be familiar with the soil conditions you have. (Here is a link to soil test information: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing). Once you're familiar with the light and soil conditions, there are many resources you can use to identify specific plants that will do well on your site. Here are two we recommend highly:
If you need guidance on removing the existing turf, see this page (which also includes some suggested alternatives to lawn). http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/alternatives-lawn
We hope this helps you get off to a good start. Don't hesitate to contact us again with additional questions as you proceed with your project. We would love to see photos of how you transform that space!