The Lower Level is a plateau that surrounds the main campus (the “upper level”) and is home to nearly all of Deerfield’s athletic fields. Approximately 100 acres of athletic fields are side-by-side, and this proximity is key to Deerfield’s community feel: After each team’s contests are over, its players walk just a few steps to cheer on their friends and classmates. On game days (typically Wednesday and Saturday), the Lower Level is crowded with teams and spectators and it creates an environment of fellowship like no other.
The whole of the Deerfield River Valley was once covered by a prehistoric lake, and the historic geology of the valley still governs the Lower Level today; from the vantage point of the Rock, it’s obvious how this geology is at work, as the Lower Level clearly shows evidence of being an earlier path of the river. Scanning its edges and beyond, the outlines of past riverbanks, the snakelike undulations of the banks and plateaus, the remaining streams and remnants of recent floods, it’s easy to feel a connection to the distant past.
The River forms the western boundary of the Lower Level, and on what students call “River days” (e.g. Sunday afternoons when the temperatures reach the mid-80s), the River hosts hundreds of swimmers, and their lounging spills from the riverbank onto the lush grass of the Lower Level. Frisbee, impromptu softball games, and the occasional water-fight serve as able past-times during these afternoons of leisure.