N 42° 54.780'
W 085° 46.195'

Leaving Johnson Park, notice that vines are prevalent along the north side bank of the river. Approaching the GPS point you will see wild grape vines hanging from tree limbs and growing up tree stalks. There are many examples of branches being pulled into the water from the weight of the vines.

Wild grapes are a berry that many birds love, so the presence of these plants encourages their presence. These vines also have a very interesting symbiotic relationship with the trees they occupy. Grape Vines can naturally prune the tree keeping it in better health. They also provide shade that provides protection from the sun in order to keep the soil from becoming to dry and stressing the tree. However, vines can also grow large enough to choke out a tree, heavy enough to bend limbs to the ground and potentially killing the tree. Intertwined with wild grape vines you will also see Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper.

Poison Ivy is the most common allergy in the country, affecting over half of the population. Poison Ivy grows flower clusters that can reach up to three inches long. These clusters give way to berry-like fruits that appear a whitish-gray color. These fruits are enjoyed by birds and other animals such as raccoons. The leaves of poison ivy also provide food for white-tailed deer and for insects. Some birds use the thread like hairs from the Poison Ivy vine to build their nest. Also, the leaves and stems of poison ivy can provide shelter for small animals. Poison Ivy will often grow together with wild grape vines and Virginia Creeper.

Virginia Creeper also produces berries and leaves that are eaten by an array of animals. Many moth caterpillars are known to eat the leaves of Virginia Creeper. Do not sample a Virginia creeper berry, as they are poisonous to humans. Virginia Creeper is a parasitic vine, meaning that it often slowly kills the host plant it is growing on.