Smokies LIVE Blog

Save the Date and Save Wildlife

2022 GSMA Calendar

2022 GSMA CalendarWhat is it about the humble wall calendar that explains its enduring popularity well into the digital era?

I guess in the same way that physical mail now feels more novel than emails, or our printed photos have become more precious than the thousands of files stored on our phones, a wall calendar hanging in the kitchen or office has a much-appreciated presence we just don’t want to let go of yet. Even if I rarely use mine for actual scheduling purposes, I like to hang one just for its aesthetic qualities and look forward to flipping the page each month. Speaking of aesthetic qualities, I hope I’ve delivered on that front while designing GSMA’s very own 2022 wall calendar. The duty of creating our annual calendar rotates through our design staff, and this year I got my first stab at it, though this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to calendars in general. Since I had just finished designing and illustrating GSMA’s new book for young readers, A Search for Safe Passage, it felt natural to incorporate the theme of wildlife and road ecology into the calendar.

The result is a collection of 12 stunning wildlife photos, each one taken of a species that plays a role in A Search for Safe Passage and is affected by road construction and vehicle traffic, and each accompanied by a small illustration of the animal. I really enjoyed curating these photos from a selection of talented photographers; my personal favorite is the Virginia opossum overwhelmed with just too many joeys. Of course, the calendar also features the thoughtfully tailored seasonal flora and fauna information that’s become a standard of GSMA calendars. The calendar is also another way that GSMA is supporting Safe Passage: The I-40 Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Crossing Project, a coalition formed to make a 28-mile stretch of I-40 between Knoxville, TN, and Asheville, NC, safer for motorists and wildlife alike. Each species in the calendar is paired with a short biography from the nonfiction “Meet the Animals” section of A Search for Safe Passage. These contain some surprising information that may reshape the way you think about wildlife and roads near you; for example, did you know that box turtles can live up to 100 years, making some individuals older than many US interstates?

One of the great things about designing GSMA products is getting to give classic, well-loved goods like calendars extra utility as beautiful interpretive pieces. I hope you will enjoy our 2022 calendar!


Recent Posts

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320