TERRY Murphy's passion for nature was almost as contagious as his larrikin grin.
The much-loved Griffith Public School general assistant sadly passed away in June at the age of 50, but his lasting environmental legacy lives on in the hundreds of local children he inspired.
On Monday during council's annual volunteers' morning tea, Mr Murphy was posthumously awarded the Ron Inglis Memorial Tidy Towns Award for his outstanding efforts.
Councillor Pat Cox made the moving presentation saying the stunning grounds of Griffith Public School were testament to his hard work and dedication.
Mr Murphy's partner Kayleen Foy and daughter Hannah proudly accepted the award.
"He loved nature. It was a passion for him. Our kids grew up learning to love it and he also took that to the school," Ms Foy said.
"I accept this award with pride because I know that hundreds of kids will now look at the environment in a different way thanks to Terry."
The lovable character was instrumental in helping establish the school's environmental group known as the Dirty Dozen and passed on his vast knowledge to the staff and students who will always sadly miss, but remember him fondly.
He had a long and proud association with the school, where he worked for close to 10 years. His mother, Joan Murphy was a teacher there, and Kayleen attended Griffith Public as did their three children Ben, who passed away tragically in a car accident last December, Hannah and Jack.
"Dad wasn't only a GA at Griffith Public School he was a teacher, a friend and most of all inspiration to so many children," Hannah said.
"He helped build on so many children's knowledge and helped them understand the importance of caring for the environment in every way possible, and there is no one more deserving of this award than him. I am so proud of him today; he was recognised for something he was so passionate about."