What We Do

Contour Line
/ˈkänˌto͝or/     /līn/

 noun
   1. A physical barrier that is level, or perpendicular to slope, that blocks rainwater runoff and soil erosion.  May be built as a brush fence, living fence, terrace wall, rock pile, mound, trench or any combination thereof.
   2. An Agro-reforestation method that builds soil fertility, and therefore improves agricultural production and ecosystem health.

Slope uncontoured vs. contoured with trench
(photo credit



Why Contour Lines?
Our broader purpose is to extend the ecological mindset, to promote reforestation and regenerative agriculture (see our Mission and Vision).  Contour lines are one of many techniques, along with cover-cropping, mulching, polycultures, succession planting and planting for biodiversity. However, by choosing one method and implementing it, Contour Lines Corp adopts a hands-on, project-oriented approach. We believe in actual work, in setting a physical example rather than merely preaching and wasting time. If humanity will reverse its destructive legacy and live sustainably we must work hard and work now.

Sean Dixon-Sullivan teaching contour lines to community leaders in Sarstun, Guatemala.


Also, in terms of landscape design, contour lines form the backbone of a more detailed plan. These lines, whether planted as hedgerows, built as walls, or dug as swales or access roads, will precede and help inform other design elements in the scale of permanence, such as garden plots or fence lines. A landscape woven with the curves of contour will likely inspire continuing sustainable management. In this sense, Contour Lines are the vanguard of a sustainable society.

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