Nancy Menees Hardesty was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, and spent her childhood in St. Louis, Missouri. She was trained by her father, Charles Menees, journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, to be a writer, but went on to become a Landscape Architect. She attended University of Michigan for a degree in Landscape Architecture and Antioch West for a Master’s Degree in Ecosystems Management.
Nancy Hardesty had her own Palo Alto, California business, Hardesty Associates, Landscape Architects, from 1972-1995. Many of the firm’s famous projects related to the California oak woodland and managing the ecosystems in which oak trees are dominant. Her award-winning published book, Oak Woodland Preservation and Land Planning: Portola Valley Ranch was developed during the 18+ years as Project Landscape Architect for Portola Valley Ranch.
In addition to their own biological son, Nancy and her husband have two foster sons, and managed four soccer teams simultaneously from 1991 to 1999 for their three sons. She took notes for the eight years of soccer team management, and turned these into a whirl-wind soccer mom autobiography, Soccer Central. Nancy is currently interviewing the former soccer players to update the story prior to publication of this book.
Blanche (Bonnie) Spencer, Nancy’s Paternal Grandmother, is the young and adventurous protagonist of her book The Bonnet Book. In a Stanford University Adult Education Creative Writing Course, Bonnie Spencer came to life under Nancy’s pen! Bonnie’s coming-of-age story is a colorful and dusty chronicle which winds through Midwestern towns and cities, a World’s Fair, a State Fair, and the Wild West of Oklahoma in 1910.
Nancy has owned a second home at Lake Tahoe since 2000. She has always been fascinated with the Lake Tahoe Basin ecology and animals. In December 2022, Nancy published two books, Tahoe Mountain Chickadee, Vol #1, North Shore, and Vol #2, South Shore, a children’s nature workbook series for children of all ages. Volumes #3 and #4 are in the works!