Peter Wostenholme was presented with a certificate marking 25 years service to the City of Sheffield by Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts in a special ceremony at Woodhouse Library.
Mr Wostenholme, 80, was surrounded by family and friends and members of community groups he has worked with over the years at the "This Is Your Life" style presentation which paid special recognition to his fight to help save Beighton Marsh.
Peter, who lives in Woodhouse, was approached by the Shire Brook Conservation Group to help highlight the threat to the marsh during construction work on the A57 and his efforts helped a newly formed marsh thrive.
He has been recording events in and around Sheffield and Rotherham from the late 1960s and has had his photographs published in a number of local publications including the Sheffield Star.
The framed certificate was signed by the Lord Mayor and the citation said that it was “in recognition and appreciation of Peter's unique and exceptional voluntary service over 25 years.
"During this period, Peter's photographic skills, record keeping, sharing and regular publication of his images has been of invaluable benefit to many local community groups, schools, businesses, individuals, voluntary sector groups and public sector organisations including Sheffield City Council," it added.
More than 50 people representing some of the groups and organisations that Peter has supported over the years attended the event while many others who couldn't attend sent Peter congratulations.
Peter became Shire Brook Valley publicity officer in 1990 and began regularly photographing community based events and activities in the area.
His role gradually extended to south east Sheffield and thousands of people have since benefited from his photographic record, which conservative estimates suggest are well over a million images.
Peter said “This volunteer photography is time consuming but I feel worthwhile because it is tomorrow's history."
In 2008, in recognition of his extraordinary achievements, he was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace with The Queen
Countryside management office Sally Pereira, who helped organise the presentation, said: "In recent years, many in the local community felt that the value of Peter's work should also be recognised in Sheffield.
"The award ceremony came as a complete surprise to Peter who had attended the event thinking that he was the official photographer as usual! In his speech Clive Betts described Peter “as a legend in his own lifetime”.
Speaking about the campaign to save the marsh, he said: "My photographs in The Star resulted in a construction delay and many volunteers were able to transfer vegetation from the doomed marsh to newly dug ponds on adjacent land.
"The new marsh thrives and from then I was appointed Shire Brook Conservation Group publicity officer."
He added: "I went to Woodhouse Library expecting to record an event for the Woodhouse Community Forum to be met by Clive Betts MP and surprised by around 50 people I had been privileged to meet over the last 35 years.
"I am amazed that Sally was able and willing to track down these people and arrange for them to attend. It was a real surprise."