My husband and I are transforming our humble, suburban backyard into a native backyard habitat for the wild animals in the neighborhood, including chipmunks, bunnies, birds, and bats. We have named it "Native Suburbia".
We've killed off all of the turf grass that had been growing in the backyard, as well as some (about half) in the front yard, by laying down newspaper over the grass and then covering that with a 2-inch thick layer of hardwood mulch on top. We've laid down a casual walking path with flagstone stepping stones throughout the backyard so we can enjoy the yard when the prairie is full-grown.
It will take about 3 years for the forbs and grasses we planted by seed to fully mature, so there will be only minor growth at first, but we have already said good-bye to the weekly chore of lawn mowing.
Wanna see pictures (and more) of "Native Suburbia"? Click: Native Suburbia
One last thing: Check out this organization dedicated to growing more earth-friendly and low maintenance native plants, of which we are also members: Wild Ones