Update: COVID-19 Memorial in Black Hill Park

by Patrick Herron

Update: COVID-19 Memorial in Black Hill Park

The fate of the COVID-19 memorial built by Germantown artist Chris Wikman remains uncertain.

The controversy around the memorial, which was built at Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds, stems from the fact that the artist did not request the required permits from Montgomery County to build it.

Years ago, Chris began building a structure as a tribute to his brother that had passed away from lung cancer. After putting the project on hold, he began to think about revisiting the idea while he was hiking with weighted backpacks during training for an overseas trek.

Originally it was going to be a cairn (a pile of stones, often used as a landmark), but after discussing the idea with a brick mason, he decided to build a pyramid.

The first stones were placed on Memorial Day 2020 and it took six weeks to complete the project.
The outer part of the pyramid is white quartz, while the inner core is made up of regular rocks.  In total, 3,000 lbs. of materials and 400-500 stones were used.

According to Chris, “the current status is that the MoCo Park system put the removal on hold, apparently based upon community input and support, and the committee has not yet made a decision what to do further.”

We spoke to a representative from Montgomery Parks at 10AM this morning and she informed us that the COVID-19 memorial in Black Hill Park is still scheduled to removed. They did not give a specific date on when this would happen but did say the delay is because of staffing issues.

Below is a map of where you can find the memorial:


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Kathie Hulley January 28, 2021 - 3:02 pm

Pleas note that it is Black Hill not Black Hills

Howard Stern February 18, 2021 - 12:59 pm

Someone’s anal retentive


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