Saline Bids Farewell to Dedicated Parks and Recreation Director


Carla Scruggs. Photo courtesy City of Saline.

The City of Saline has offered a heartfelt farewell to a beloved city employee who has dedicated over three decades of her life to improving her community.  Ms. Carla Scruggs, Saline’s esteemed Parks and Recreation Director, is retiring after an outstanding career that spanned an impressive 32 years.

Ms. Scruggs’ career with Saline began in 1991 as Recreation Coordinator for the Saline Rec Center, before her elevation to Parks and Recreation Director. According to a Proclamation of Thanks given to her on behalf of the City of Saline, Ms. Scruggs was behind the success of scores of park projects throughout her time at the helm including the creation of Dog Parks within both Curtiss Park and Mill Pond Park; improvements to the play areas in Mill Pond Park; and improved facilities at Tefft Park such as volleyball courts and a Gaga Ball pit.

Ms. Scruggs’ work extended beyond the walls of her office as she served as the city’s staff liaison to both the Saline Parks Commission and the Youth Council. She also worked on the 2006 expansion of the Saline Rec Center and was a critical member of the Rec Center Sustainability Task Force in 2010, 2013, and again in 2021-2023.

Ms. Scruggs was frequently recognized for outstanding work during her time with the City of Saline. The Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MParks) awarded both their Program Leadership Award and Fellowship Award to her. She was also the recipient of the George A. Anderson Vision Award.

Before reading the Proclamation in full during Saline’s City Council meeting on October 16, 2023, Mayor Brian Marl said the moment was bittersweet, “because we are going to say goodbye to one of our most esteemed colleagues and one of our longest serving city department heads who has, truthfully, transformed Saline parks during her three decade plus tenure. She is a phenomenal public servant and we have been beyond blessed with her leading Saline Parks since the early 1990s.”

After being presented with the certificate of recognition, Ms. Scruggs shared her own thoughts, “I stand before you today with a profound sense of fulfillment as I retire from my role as the Parks and Recreation Director after 32 years of service. It has been both an honor and a privilege that I’ve had to be part of this wonderful community and to have had the opportunity to work alongside so many exceptional individuals who’ve become friends, colleagues, and mentors throughout the years.

She continued, “Saline is not just a place on a map. It’s a vibrant, caring, supportive community made up of people who genuinely care for one another. The experiences I’ve had here, the relationships I built, and the memories I’ve created will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’ve witnessed the growth and development of this city and I am immensely proud to have played a part in shaping the recreational experiences for our residents.”

Despite the city’s loss, its Parks and Recreation Department remains in good hands. Sunshine Lambert, former Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, was named its new Director during the same October 16th council meeting. Ms. Lambert has been a part of the Parks and Recreation team since 2001 and is perfectly positioned to take over operations for the Parks and Rec Department. Her promotion comes at the recommendation of City Manager Colleen O’Toole and is the result of a carefully built succession plan that was put in place to ensure a smooth transition following Ms. Scruggs' retirement.

Sunshine Lambert. Photo courtesy City of Saline.
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